VOORHEES, N.J. Just as hes done since he arrived in Philadelphia, Jaromir Jagr continues to work out at Skate Zone every night. But whether hell return to the Flyers next season still remains uncertain.
Only two weeks after Jagrs agent, Petr Svoboda, said that he and the Flyers were working on a new contract (see story) and hoped to get something finished before the draft, general manager Paul Holmgren said that was not exactly the case.
I haven't spoken to Jaromir or his agent since within two days after the season was over, Holmgren said. We left it at we would talk later on near the end of June. Again, we don't know what the salary cap is going to be, so there is a lot of variables that we have to wait on.
The first round of the NHL draft is June 22. Svoboda told CSNPhilly.com he plans to speak to Holmgren about Jagr during draft weekend, and that while a deal may not be done, Jagr certainly still has interest in returning to the Flyers.
Holmgren said he places the odds of a Jagr return at about 5050.
Wherever he lands, though, Jagr believes he can contribute just as much if not more than he did this past season. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer was third on the Flyers in scoring, and spent the majority of the year on the teams top line along with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.
But there were concerns toward the end of last season and through the playoffs that Jagr, who will turn 41 midway through next season, trained too hard for a player of advanced age. Even Svoboda admitted that Jagrs training regimen is something that will have to be examined.
That said, Jagr has been adamant that hell be a better player next season and will most certainly be able to make a significant impact in the NHL and Holmgren feels similarly.
"I think Jaromir brought a lot to the team this year, Holmgren said, and I can see him doing the same next year so I would certainly have interest.
A report from TSNs Darren Dreger said Jagr intends to test free agency before making a final decision, which certainly doesnt come as a surprise. Jagr had a host of teams interested in him last off-season, even though hed spent three years away from the NHL. Theres no reason to believe thats changed, now that he has a year of NHL hockey under his belt.
One potential good fit? The Montreal Canadiens, whose center Tomas Plekanec is Jagrs best friend.
E-mail Sarah Baicker at firstname.lastname@example.org.