In a story posted on the KHL web site earlier today, Czech legend Jaromir Jagr confirmed that an agreement was in the works that could have seen him finish the NHL season in Edmonton had his current club, Avangard Omsk, not made the playoffs or fallen in a first round sweep. At the same time, Jagr made it clear that he would not break his KHL contract, and that any arrangements for him to play in the NHL next year would need to be negotiated by the his potential NHL club and Avangard. In other words, any team hoping to add Jagr to their line-up next year had better have some spare cash lying around (and hope NHL HQ allows them to wire it Siberia) because that’s the only scenario by which I can see Avangard surrendering their star.
Jaromir Jagr: I don’t intend to break my contract with Omsk
Although there was speculation about Jagr’s return to the NHL in the final stage of the KHL regular season and during the playoffs, the athlete’s future is tied to Omsk, where he has an active contract for another year, reports [Czech newspaper] SPORT. At the same time, the possibility that Jagr could return to the NHL in an Edmonton uniform really did exist. The management of the Oilers reached an agreement with Avangard that in the event that the Omsk club did not appear in the playoffs or lost their first round series with Salavat Yulaev Ufa by an 0-3 account, the move of Jagr to Canada would take place.
“Yes, there was such an possibility,” said Jagr. “Both clubs discussed how that could have been done. It did not depend on me. If Omsk had asked me to go over to Edmonton, I would have done it. But I myself didn’t want it. After we made it to the playoffs, this subject was no longer relevant.” Jagr also said, that the same approach will be used next season.
“It definitely wouldn’t happen that I’d break the contract with Omsk and leave for America without permission. For that both teams need to come to an agreement between themselves. I won’t do that myself,” the athlete, who has spent 17 seasons in the NHL with Pittsburgh, Washington, and the New York Rangers, said.
UPDATE: Apparently the KHL considered the news that Jagr’s not flying the coop (for now) so important they issued an English version of the press release. Puck Daddy’s got it for those who are interested.
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