DETROIT -- Jaromir Jagr would like to play in the NHL next season.
Petr Svoboda, Jagr’s agent, said today that he has been talking to the Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. He declined to say whether he is talking with other teams about a one-year contract for the 39-year-old Jagr.
“Quite a few teams are in the picture, but I’ve been talking to Detroit and Pittsburgh the last couple of days,” Svoboda told the AP. “He is looking for a one-year deal, and I think he will have one in the next week or so.”
The Czech star hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2007-08 season with the New York Rangers. He left the league to play for Avangard Omsk in Russia.
Jagr told espn.com that he doesn't have a timetable for making a decision.
"In Pittsburgh, I played there 10 years. I still have a house there. I was too lazy to sell it," Jagr told ESPN with a laugh. "Obviously, Mario (Lemieux) is the owner. The team they got, (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin, plus other great players, if I went there, it would be a lot easier.
"But on the other side, Detroit has great players and play closer to my style, a Euro style. That's a plus. And (Nicklas) Lidstrom is there, plus (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg -- great, great players."
The Detroit Free Press has reported that the Wings are interested in signing Jagr for the right price. That might mean a salary-cap hit of around $2 million, plus incentives.
Jagr was the NHL MVP in 1999, a five-time scoring champion and two-time Stanley Cup winner while he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He went on to play for the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.
“They’ve contacted us, and we’ve expressed an interest,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We’ll continue to stay in touch.”
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound forward had a hat trick last month in a 4-0 win over the United States in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championship, in which the Czechs finished fourth. “He’s still got it, for sure,” U.S. captain Mark Stuart said. “He’s hard to play against. One of the hardest guys ever to take the puck off.”
Jagr has 646 goals and 1,599 points in his NHL career, ranking among the game’s all-time best. He had 25 goals and 71 points in his last season with the Rangers three years ago when he finished strong with 15 points in 10 playoff games.
The Czech star is one of 25 players with a Stanley Cup and gold medals from the Olympics and world championships.