There’s an intriguing rumor making the rounds regarding Jaromir Jagr.
After Jagr reportedly passed on a contract extension with Philly to test free agency — he becomes a UFA in 10 days — there are now rumblings that Calgary could be in the mix for his services.
Here are the key points:
— On May 2, the Flames announced they’d signed Roman Cervenka from Avangard Omsk, the same KHL club Cervenka and Jagr played on during the 2010-11 season (on the same line, no less.)
— The pair have also played together internationally for the Czech Republic on a number of occasions and are pretty close friends (read this.)
— From Eric Duhatschek of The Globe:
Funny how a Jagr-Cervenka pairing in Calgary would close the circle. When Jagr first arrived in North America in 1990-91, he was floundering and had a hard time adjusting as a teenager to life outside his Czech hometown of Kladno. The Penguins saw that and made a strategic deal with Calgary to acquire Jiri Hrdina, a thirty-something Czech and one of the first to break down the Iron Curtain. Hrdina had made the transition in Calgary and helped Jagr as a mentor and friend.
— Jagr has expressed an interest playing in Canada before, citing the passion fans have for hockey.
— Unlike other NHLers that recoil in horror at the prospect of moving to Alberta (sorry Alberta, but it’s true), Jagr was seriously contemplating signing with Edmonton in 2008.
— New Flames head coach Bob Hartley said he doesn’t plan to be part of a rebuild in Calgary, so the idea of signing a 40-year-old free agent isn’t far-fetched. He’d fit in nicely alongside 35-year-old Miikka Kiprusoff, 34-year-old Jarome Iginla (who turns 35 on July 1) and 32-year-old Alex Tanguay.
Of note, the Flames have a projected $20 million in available cap space.