Jagr Watch is officially out of hand if you ask me. I do not have anything against Jaromir Jagr for taking time to make what he feels is the best career move. I do have a problem with all of the false news stories. As of right now, it seems as if Jaromir has not given any indication of which team he would like to play for next year. He wants to make the perfect decision and these things take time to decide. Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, said that there will not be a decision tonight. He was quoted saying, "We may need a couple days to sort things out." Take this quote for what it is worth but it may end up being Jagr's agent trying to throw some fuel on the fire and get some extra offers in. We do know that Jaromir has multiple offers on the table from a few different teams. The Penguins, Red Wings, Canadiens are among the teams that have made offers. There is speculation that Jagr also has offers from other NHL teams, like the Flyers, and maybe even some KHL teams. There is also a report that someone close to Mario said that Jagr has already informed Mario that he will be taking his talents to the South Side and that it will be announced at noon tomorrow with a big welcome home theme to the Pittsburgh Penguins website. In the end, we have no idea how this will end up and it all comes down to what Jaromir wants to do.
We do know some information. There is speculation that the Penguins have offered a 1 year deal worth somewhere in the $2 million range. Ray Shero said that he feels the offer is very "fair." He also said that there is no deadline for him to accept the offer and he will not wait for Jagr's decision if it should go past noon tomorrow when free agency is set to begin. If another winger comes along for the right price, Shero will try and scoop him up leaving Jagr in the dust.
Then again, all of this is just speculation. For all we know, Jagr could have an agreement with a team and they just do not want to announce it until they can finalize the deal at noon tomorrow. It should be interesting.
The Penguins have not been putting all of their efforts in Jaromir Jagr, though. It is reported that Tyler Kennedy is close on a new two year deal with the Penguins. It is a revised deal and the Penguins should be hearing from him tomorrow. Ray Shero is confident that something will get done.
If the Penguins are to sign both Jaromir Jagr and Tyler Kennedy then that will tie up the majority of the Penguins cap space. The only thing the Penguins will have room for is maybe a grinder or two. They do not need any defenseman because they currently have 7 under contract. If the Penguins would like to move some salary they could easily move a d-man. Two names that are thrown out there are Matt Niskanen and Paul Martin. Paul Martin would give a lot of relief because he has a cap hit of $5 million. I do not necessarily agree with moving Martin because it usually takes a year before d-men can be completely comfortable in a new system like the Penguins (see Sergei Gonchar). Matt Niskanen is in the same boat with his $1.5 million cap hit. Maybe if he would be in a Pens uni for a whole season, he can greatly improve his game. Keep in mind, he is young and he was a first round pick. I would like to see them stay where they are on defense unless an offer comes that blows Shero away or he has the opportunity to greatly improve this team.
Tomorrow will bring a lot of fun. There are some big names that may be in new places tomorrow. The Penguins roster may be a little different too. We will have to wait and see. I will be back tomorrow night to break down some of the moves by the Penguins and the other big moves around the NHL. Let's go Pens.