Jaromir Jagr

Could Jaromir Jagr be on his way to…Calgary?


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.

One rumbling from The Globe and Mail, another from Czech news outlet Idnes.cz.

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.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.