Former NHL forward Jaromir Jagr has not put a timetable on a return to the NHL, but it’s clear that the Red Wings and Penguins are the front runners for his services.
The 39-year-old has not stated which team he prefers, but it appears the Red Wings have offered him most money so far. It’s obvious Jagr wants to play for a Stanley Cup contender, something both the Red Wings and Penguins can provide.
“Both teams are contenders to win the Cup every year and that’s the most exciting thing as a hockey player,” said Jagr, not tipping his hand.
Red Wings defensman Nicklas Lidstrom, fresh off his own new contract, would welcome Jagr with open arms:
"I think he’s still a heck of a player," Lidstrom said. "From talking to friends that watched the world championships, they said he played real well in that tournament, playing against the top players in the world. So we’ll see what happens. But I think he could help our team, especially his size. I know he’s got the skills, but I think his size is something a lot of teams would like."
There is also a third unnamed team reportedly in the mix for Jagr. ESPN mentions the Montreal Canadiens as the possible suspect, but the organization has yet to say anything on the matter. The Free Press says that there is interest from Washington and the New York Rangers as well.
If I was a betting man, my money would be on the Rangers, the last NHL club Jagr played for. Jagr was the Rangers’ captain for his last three seasons in the league. The club also has a plethora of cap space and a need for forward help for Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury.