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Friday, October 31, 2014

Was Jaromir Jagr Wrong to Choose Flyers over Penguins?

Jaromir Jagr has returned to the NHL after playing three years in Russia’s KHL. There was speculation swirling for weeks regarding the team for whom he’d choose to play, and the Penguins, Red Wings, Canadiens and Rangers were all prominently mentioned.

In the end, Jagr chose to sign with the Flyers on a one-year $3.3 million deal — a move that shocked most folks.

Jagr’s deal with Philly was announced a few hours after the Penguins reportedly pulled their $2 million offer because they did not want to enter a bidding war. Jagr picked Philly, leaving the fans in Pittsburgh stunned.

I ask you the question: was it wrong of Jagr to pick one of Pittsburgh’s biggest rivals as his new team?

Jagr played 11 of his 17 NHL seasons with the Penguins. That’s the team that drafted him and paired him with Mario Lemieux when he was wee little mullet wearing lad from Czechoslovakia. That’s the same team that helped develop him into a star player in the league. And Jagr is the same guy who told The Hockey News in 2009 “I would play for the minimum salary. I would play for $350,000 just for [Mario Lemieux] because I owe him my hockey life.”

Something must have changed since then because Jagr left for more money elsewhere. I don’t know what happened and I never like to say that someone made the wrong move without knowing what we on behind the scenes, but it’s awfully strange that Jagr’s viewpoint changed so much in only two years. I’m inclined to say that signing with the Penguins was the wrong move, but we don’t know the whole story. What do you say?



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