The drum roll will have to wait, well, because we are all still waiting. Jaromir Jagr has had travel problems and the decision will have to wait until tomorrow. There is all kinds of speculation running rampant about what happened to Jagr. Some are saying he missed his flight. Some are saying there were turtles on the runway which caused his flight to be delayed. No one is really sure. Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, said that no decision will be made until tomorrow because of "travel difficulties overseas." He also mentioned that once Jagr gets settled tonight, they would go over things over the phone and discuss it at a greater length in the morning. That means most of us Pens fans will be up all night speculating and tracking flights and some crazy ones will be sitting at Pittsburgh International Airport all night. I have debated driving on down there myself.
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Since Jagr Watch is being delayed, the Penguins are trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their unrestricted free agents. The Pens signed Pascal Dupuis to a 2 year deal with a cap hit of 1.5 million which is great. Pascal wanted to be here and the Pens definitely wanted him back. Sidney Crosby's roommate also said he would love to have Jagr on the team. It is good to see the players will be welcoming Jagr to the team should he choose the Penguins. The Penguins want Mike Rupp back but reports have surfaced today Mike Rupp has turned down a 2 year deal and the Pens have moved on. Nothing is certain in free agency though. It seems like it is either/or with Rupp and Asham. As I am writing this, the Pens have signed Asham to a one year deal. He will get a raise of 75,000 dollars, which is a total of $775,000. This a steal for a big game performer like Asham. This may, after all, be the end of Mike Rupp's tenure with the Penguins. Speaking of the end of a Penguin, Max Talbot will not be back next year. He has declined the Penguins offer and reportedly wants a 4 year deal worth 2 million a year. Max is a good player but there is absolutely no way that the Pens will pay him that. I'm sure he can get that on the open market. I have lost respect for Talbot in one aspect. He will not sign with any team that would acquire his negotiating rights. He has every right to do that but it would be nice for the Penguins to be able to get something in return. Best of luck to Max and Mike.
The last question mark of the free agency class is still Tyler Kennedy. He wants to be back and the Penguins also want him back. If Kennedy would come back it could end up paying off for the Penguins and give them a good top 6 core of forwards. If this past season for Kennedy was any indication of things to come then just imagine their forwards; 87, 71, 68?, 48, 18, 14, 11. Plus all of the great role players, 45, 27, 24, 10, 9. All those role players can put the puck in the net as well. Kennedy is not at all a sure thing to sign here though. His agent said he would take slightly below market value but he still wants a fair deal. He may still end up testing the market.
There is still a lot to expect from the Penguins in the coming days. Jagr Watch will definitely be coming to an end tomorrow. Whatever Jagr's decision is, this will be something that nobody will ever forget. Come home Jaromir. I will be here to break down how tomorrow plays out.
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