According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Jaromir Jagr is going to market.
The 40-year-old Czech will reportedly test free agent waters on July 1, a surprising development given earlier reports that Jagr’s agent (Petr Svoboda) was working with the Flyers on a new deal.
“I’ve talked to Jaromir and I have talked to Paul [Holmgren] and we hope to get something done before the draft,” Svoboda said at the time.
That report (courtesy CSN Philadelphia) was on June 6, so it’s hard to figure what transpired over the course of 12 days to cause an about-face from Jagr’s camp.
If we had to guess, it could’ve come down to what role he would’ve played next year — after the Flyers were eliminated from the playoffs, Jagr expressed frustration at his ice time under head coach Peter Laviolette and wouldn’t publicly commit to re-signing in Philadelphia.
Dreger notes that Jagr “plans to change training to shed some [pounds] and get faster,” which you can construe any way you’d like. I’ll construe it as the NHL being a young man’s game and Jagr realizing his role in Philly next season could’ve been minimized by the sure-to-be-expanded-roles of Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn and Matt Read.
But what you really have to wonder is if Jagr/Svoboda looked at the impending free-agent forward pool and said “hey, why not test this thing out?” Jagr’s 54 points (in just 73 games) last year put him tied for seventh among potential UFAs, behind only Ray Whitney, Zach Parise, PA Parenteau, Teemu Selanne, Olli Jokinen and Alex Semin.