Jagr not ready to return home

Jagr not ready to return home
July 7, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Free agency: Major moves shake up Caps roster

Since returning to North America in 2011 after a three-year stint in the KHL, Jaromir Jagr has played for three different NHL teams. According to his agent, it may not be long before Jagr joins a fourth.

The 41-year-old Jagr split last season with the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins and said in June that he was planning to return for a 20th NHL campaign.

“I want to do it [return to the NHL],” Jagr told reporters in Boston two days after the Bruins lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. “I love this game so much that's for sure, so I don't want to go back to [the] Czech [Republic] yet.”

Despite being held without a goal in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Jagr showed last season that he can still contribute offensively (16 goals and 37 points in 45 regular-season games) and the thought is that the NHL’s active scoring leader can still deliver for a contender.

While Jagr remains without a contract for next season, his agent Petr Svoboda told the Associated Press this weekend that multiple teams have shown interest.

"He definitely still wants to play, and there is some interest in him," Svoboda told The AP. "I think it's going to take some time, but you never know for sure because there are three teams that are very interested."

Svoboda did not specify which three teams he’s spoken with but the Montreal Canadiens are believed to be among the group. 

TVA Sports in Montreal reported Saturday that Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin had spoken to Svoboda about Jagr’s status. 

Should Jagr sign in Montreal the Czech native could potentially skate on a line with his countryman- Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec. The Canadiens also recently signed Jagr’s former Philadelphia Flyers teammate Daniel Briere to a two-year deal. The two played together in 2011-12.

“For us, it was like playing with a legend,” Briere told CSNPhilly.com in 2012. “I feel fortunate I was able to say I played with Jaromir Jagr for one year in my career. That is a pretty cool thing to say when you look at everything he has accomplished.
 
“His name being on top of the scoring list almost everywhere. It was an honor to play with him. You also understand why he is the top hockey player who ever played the game. The way he prepares, handles himself. The way he works out. It’s pretty impressive.”

This is the third straight summer that Jagr find himself searching for a new NHL home and it is not the first time he has shown interest in Montreal.

“I always wanted to play in Canada, and I wanted to go to Montreal if I had a chance,” Jagr said last summer after signing with the Dallas Stars. “Montreal wasn’t interested, and then all of a sudden, I got a call from (Stars general manager) Joe Nieuwendyk and I was very happy.”

One year later it seems, Jagr may finally get the call he was looking for all along.