Below is a transcript of Jaromir Jagr's end of the season session with the media on locker clean-out day ...
Q:Have you made your decision yet?
"No I didn't. The season ended two days ago."
Q: How do you go about making that decision?
|Jaromir Jagr posted 19 goals, 35 assists for 54 points in 73 games in his return to the NHL in 2011-12 |
"You have to take a rest after the season. It was pretty long. Hopefully you get rested and I think it is up to my agent on what's going to [happen]. Thanks to him I am here in the U.S. Last year, if he didn't push me, I would probably stay in Europe. He told me it wold be a good idea to come back and play again. I am glad I listened to him because it was probably the best year and most fun I have had."
Q: If you play in the NHL, is this where you want to be?
"Well I want to play in the NHL. I want to play somewhere when I know teams will want me to. Hopefully we are going to find some team where I can play. I still love the game and I think I am going to be better than I was this year. I have learned some stuff and the NHL has changed. You have to change with the NHL. You have to adjust some practicing and some little things to make you better. I learned a lot this year and I know what kind of direction I want to go to get better. If I come back, I know I am going to be better than I was last year."
Q: Do you think that you may have over-trained this year?
"No, I don't think I did. Against New Jersey, I think for whatever reason they were quicker and they were stronger. I don't know. Me and the team didn't have a problem against Pittsburgh. Against New Jersey, maybe we didn't play smart enough or we were too spread; too close to each other. That's what makes you kind of frustrated and more tired because you don't have the puck. You are spending more energy for kind of nothing because you don't have the puck. That is the toughest thing."
Q: On possibly coming back to Philadelphia
"I don't know what kind of direction Philadelphia is going to go. What is my situation going to be? I don't think they know right now. We have a long summer to think about it and talk about it."
Q: Were you disappointed to get taken off the top line for a little bit?
"It is tough...I wasn't disappointed. Sometimes I wanted to play a little bit more, but it is fine with me. Sometimes I feel like I can be better and play a little bit more than I played. I think everyone feels that way. If I don't feel that way, I shouldn't be in the NHL. I have never been upset. Upset is not the right word. If I don't play good, I am not going to go and I am going to work harder to prove I am still a good player."
Q: Is Claude Giroux ready to be Captain?
"I think he is. I don't know what the organization is going to do. Whatever he proves on ice, there is no question. He is one of the top players in the league. On the other side, I think he is a very likeable guy in the dressing room. He works hard every day. I think he is ready; he is not afraid to speak to the guys when he needs it. I was a captain. He is better than me at age 24. I don't think I was ready when I was a captain. Plus, there is a lot of young guys. He doesn't have to be afraid or ashamed to say something, because there are a lot of young guys. I know he is only 24 or 25, but he is probably older than half of the team. That is great."
Q: If the Flyers reach out to you sometime soon, are you willing to commit sooner?
"It is very tough for me to talk right now. I said my feelings after the game about how I feel about the whole city and the whole organization. If I get ready, I want to get ready. I don't want to just come back and just to sit here. I want to be better than I was this year. I truly believe I can do it if I practice the right way to get ready. I wasn't here for three years. It is not easy. I didn't play here for three years and the game is totally different than Europe. Hockey players, who play in Europe on the big ice, I always said this is a totally different sport with the same rules. It is totally different sport. It is not easy to go back after three years to adjust to the NHL. Plus, the NHL has changed a lot and I have learned a lot of stuff this year. I can use it for next year, that is for sure. Right now, I have to wait and see."
Q: There was a lot of speculation that a lot of you guys were injured this year. Can you talk about that with yourself included?
"There are always injuries. I think the week between the first and second round helped us to heal, but on the other side guys couldn't practice that much. Then you have to jump into games, but I think everyone has injuries in the playoffs. It is totally different hockey. You play on the edge. You have to play injured if you are injured. It is not just our team, it is any team where a lot of guys are injured that have to play."
Q: You didn't practice a couple of times, can you tell us why?
"I don't want to talk about it. It is part of the game. It is normal. Before the series, I was confident that we could beat New Jersey. Maybe I was over-confident or we just didn't play our best."
Q: Do you think [Ilya Bryzgalov] will be better off next year?
"Any time you change a team and sign a big contract, it is not easy for anyone. It doesn't matter what kind of player you are or how strong you are. It is tough. It is not easy and I know he is going to be a lot better next year. You don't have to go very far, look at Albert Pujols. To me, he is the best baseball player in the world. He had a tough time in the first two months because he signed a big contract and changed teams. No one would probably think of that before the season, but that is what it is. You have to get used to the new team and coaches. Everything is totally new and I know he is going to get better. The second half of the season, he was good."
Q: Do you think [Ilya] Bryzgalov being told he had to tone down, was needed?
"Maybe the HBO thing didn't help that much. He is not shy of the camera, that is for sure. He is a pretty intelligent guy and he reads a lot. He is always [going to] have a lot of stuff to say. Sometimes he was saying too much and people took advantage of it. He is going to learn like everyone else."
Q: During the Pittsburgh series, did you talk to Mario [Lemeiux]?