Jagr on Returning to the NHL… with the Penguins
Friday January 09th 2009, 6:27 pm

In an interview with Ken Campbell of the Hockey News, Jaromir Jagr discusses a possible return to the NHL — when his contract with Avangard Omsk is up at the end of next season — and reveals that he’d be willing to play for his idol Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh for minimal salary. “I was thinking about it and if Mario would call me and say, ‘I’d like you to play for our team,’ I would think about it a lot,” Jagr told Campbell, adding “I would play for the minimum salary. I would play for $350,000 just for him because I owe him my hockey life.”

Jagr scoffed at rumors that Avangard is in financial crisis and talked about Ranger prospect Alexei Cherepanov, who regularly asked the 17-year NHL veteran for pointers on how to prepare for the NHL. “He kind of reminded me of me when I was young because he would stay out on the ice for hours,” Jagr said. And proving his sense of humor is still very much in tact, he quipped “They want to see if it’s too cold and if it is, they’re going to move it to Florida. They have a plane all ready to go,” when asked about playing tomorrow’s KHL All Star game in Red Square in temperatures forecast to hover in the 12 degree (-11 Celsius) range.

Update: (Because the day wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t update yet another post…) Ranger beat writer Lynn Zinser also got a chance to talk to every Ranger fans’ favorite Kladno native today, and while it lacks the “I’ll play for the Penguins on the cheap”-type bombshell Campbell’s interview contained, her piece does go into a little more detail on many of the other topics Campbell covered.

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