Is Jaromir Jagr Russia bound? Well, if the New York Rangers won't pay him, he might be.
On Friday, the Bergen Record reported that the Rangers captain would be talking to representatives of Avangard Omsk of the Russian Super League about playing for them next season, after his contract with the Rangers expires.
The Omsk representatives were already going to be in New York to talk with Rangers GM Glen Sather about 2007 first round draft pick Alexei Cherepanov, who is playing for Omsk this year, and wants to join the Rangers next season.
Whatever intention Jagr has by the opening of this story, his timing couldn't have been worse. As he is about to end the worst statistical season in his career (20 goals, 63 points), this story only gives the impression that the Rangers captain is giving up on the season.
With the playoffs only a week away, and the Rangers still having an outside shot at the division title, until their loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins today, why would Jagr be entertaining thoughts of playing in Russia, let alone meet with the team's representatives during the season?
With Jagr falling well short of the point total he needed to automatically exercise the option on his contract, whether he leads the Rangers to a series victory in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals or not, is now moot.
The only concern that Jagr has these days is where his next (and probably last) big payday is going to be, before this member of the 600 goal club goes into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.