For the past few weeks, former Penguin winger Jaromir Jagr has drawn some attention. With his decision to return to the NHL for the last few years of his hockey career, it was pondered where he would end up. Within the last few weeks, fans in Detroit, Montreal and Pittsburgh have been on what has been called Jagr Watch.
Well, all of this might come to an end within the next 24 hours, as it was announced on June 28th by Penguins general manager Ray Shero. Shero announced late in the afternoon of the 28th that the team had offered the former winger a one-year contract.
"We made our offer. It's an offer that really isn't going to change. We only have so much to spend," Shero told local media late Monday afternoon.
This past season in the KHL, Jagr racked up 19 goals and 32 assists for a quite respectable 51 points.
Speculation has run about whether he would fit in head coach Dan Bylsma's system. Bylsma seems to think so.
"His play down low is outstanding. We're a team that wants to play in the offensive zone. There’s a speed part to our game, but it really lies largely in playing in the offensive zone and wearing teams down. I don’t think he has missed much of a beat in that regard to his game. Hypothetically speaking, that’s where I see him fitting in," Shero said.
Indeed, he may fit in quite well if he plays at all similar to how he played in the World Championships and the KHL. The Penguins need someone who is not afraid to hang out in front of the net on a consistent basis.
The question is, will he step up?
I have read and heard fans around the Pittsburgh area claiming that he is coming to Pittsburgh simply because of the money. Well, that could very well be true, but only time will tell.
"Tomorrow [June 29th,] is decision day," Shero told the media.
So, the 29th came and went, and with it, no decision.
Or even news of Jagr's whereabouts. Reports are floating that he has agreed to sign with the Penguins,but general manager Ray Shero has denied to Pittsburgh area media any interaction with Jagr, or his agent.
Hopefully, something will develop soon and the tension can dissipate. Until then, stay tuned for further updates.