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No decision yet from Jagr

by Dan Rosen /
Jaromir Jagr still hadn't agreed to a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins or any other NHL team as of Thursday night.

Jagr can't sign a contract until 12 p.m. ET Friday, but it is still not known how many offers he is considering or if he even wants to return to the NHL after spending the past three seasons in Russia.

Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, met with Penguins General Manager Ray Shero earlier Thursday and, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, told him he would meet with Jagr later at night to discuss his options. The Penguins have reportedly offered Jagr a one-year contract worth $2 million, and Shero told the Tribune-Review that the offer still stands.

"He's not holding us hostage or anything," Shero said.

It is not known if other teams have contract offers on the table, but Detroit GM Ken Holland re-affirmed his interest in Jagr during an interview with NHL Live on Thursday. Montreal has also reportedly expressed interest, but there was speculation that other teams joined in Thursday, including the Philadelphia Flyers.

"Nothing has really changed," Holland said. "I continue to have ongoing dialogue with his agent. We've expressed interest. I'm told he's in North America somewhere. Beyond that nothing really going on. Obviously (Friday) at noon we're going to look to make moves to improve our team."

Shero told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Svoboda told him "Pittsburgh is very much in the picture." He said he believes Jagr will make his decision before noon ET Friday, but Svoboda told Thursday night that the amount of teams interested in Jagr is growing and he could not confirm his client would have a decision on Friday.

"There's a lot more teams we're talking to," Svoboda told "I'm not going to put a time frame on it."

Svoboda previously told the Detroit Free Press that Jagr does seem ready to return to the NHL.

"There is an outside chance of KHL, but something would have to go terribly bad for that," Svoboda said.

"He was an icon in Pittsburgh.  We'd like to see him finish his career here."
-- Ray Shero

Jagr, who played the last three years in Russia, was expected to make his decision on whether he would return to the NHL on Wednesday, but that never happened and by the end of the night Svoboda had told the Free Press that he wasn't sure of his client's whereabouts.

He later said that Jagr arrived in New York around 10 p.m. ET Wednesday and was tending to some business there on Thursday.

Jagr is ninth all-time in the NHL in scoring with 1,599 points, just 42 behind Joe Sakic. He has played in 1,273 NHL games over 17 seasons, including the first 11 in Pittsburgh, where he won the Stanley Cup twice, the Hart Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy five times and the Lester B. Pearson Award four times.

"He was an icon in Pittsburgh," Shero told the Tribune-Review. "We'd like to see him finish his career here."

He was also a finalist for the Hart Trophy five times, including in 2006 with the Rangers. The last time Jagr played in North America was at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where he was the flag bear for the Czech Republic. He won gold at the 1998 Olympics and bronze at the 2006 Games.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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