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Jaromir Jagr says Edmonton would be his first choice for return to NHL

NHL.com @NHL

KLOTEN, Switzerland - Jaromir Jagr can see himself in an Edmonton Oilers jersey someday.

While the 37-year-old plans to play out the final year of his contract with Avangard Omsk of the Continental Hockey League next season, he hasn't ruled out a return to the NHL in the future.

And if he does decide to go back to North America, he'd love to play for the team that tried to arrange a transfer for him this year.

"I was pretty excited when I heard that Edmonton pushed pretty hard for me to get (there)," Jagr said Thursday at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. "I really appreciate it.

"If I ever go to (the NHL), they would be my No. 1 pick because they showed the interest first. I never forget that and I respect that."

The Oilers also offered Jagr a contract when he became a free agent last summer.

He decided at that time to go to Russia instead because he had only received one-year offers from other NHL teams. Jagr also acknowledged Thursday that he needed a break from the stress of being a top player in the NHL.

"Day-by-day it's so much pressure," he said. "I don't know how to describe it. If I would be on the third or fourth line, I would probably be in the NHL because you don't have to produce every night.

"After a while, you just need a rest, clear your head."

Jagr had 25 goals and 53 points in 55 games for Omsk this season. He's also joined the Czech national team for the world championship and has been its best player by far - despite being more than three years older than any of his teammates.

He doesn't look or sound like a guy that is ready to pack it in.

"I love the game, this is no problem," said Jagr. "I work harder than I ever did in my life, this is no problem."

Jagr won five scoring titles and one Hart Trophy as league MVP during his time in the NHL. He also was part of Stanley Cup championship teams with Pittsburgh and was wearing one of those rings as he spoke to a small group of reporters on Thursday.

"I've still got it for luck," he said of the ring.

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