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Penguins, Red Wings out as Jagr destinations

by Dan Rosen /
Jaromir Jagr will not be playing in Pittsburgh or Detroit next season.

The Penguins announced Friday that they have withdrawn their one-year, $2 million contract offer to the Czech star, who spent the first 11 seasons of his NHL career in Pittsburgh but the last three playing in Russia. The Red Wings, who also offered Jagr a one-year deal, have pulled out of the sweepstakes as well.

Both teams clearly had a change in strategy over the last several hours.

Detroit GM Ken Holland told NHL Live on Thursday that he was still interested and had talked to Jagr's agent Petr Svoboda earlier in the day. Penguins GM Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he spoke to Svoboda around 5 p.m. ET and was anticipating hearing something before the free agent market opened at 12 p.m. ET Friday.

"We made what we thought was a very fair contract offer to Jaromir on Tuesday, based on his stated interest of returning to the Penguins," Shero said. "We made our best offer from the start, given our salary cap structure, in an attempt to facilitate a deal. But now, after several days, with an extended time frame for making a decision, and additional teams getting involved, we have decided to move in a different direction. It was never our intention to get involved in a free agent bidding war, and we have to focus on our team."

Jagr, 39, who is reportedly in New York, may still return to the NHL for the 2011-12 season.

Montreal and Philadelphia have been said to still be in the mix for Jagr's services and Svoboda told Thursday night that "there's a lot more teams we're talking to. I'm not going to put a time frame on it."

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 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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