Wednesday, June 15, 2011

St. Petersburg pulls out of Jágr sweepstakes

After earlier declaring their intention to sign Jaromír Jágr for the coming season, KHL club SKA St. Petersburg has now stated that they have abandoned efforts.

Jaromír Jágr (shown here with Vladimir Putin), may return to
Russia, but it won't be in St. Petersburg. Photo: Presidential Press
and Information Office
"We are no longer pursuing Jaromír Jágr," said SKA general manager Alexei Kasatonov, citing the league's salary cap and limit on import players. "This is mainly due to the budget. The salary cap is not inflatable. Another reason is that we have too many foreigners. We already have six instead of the allowable five. Jágr would be the seventh. So that's the end of the story."

With St. Petersburg out of the picture, the only KHL team that still seems interested in signing him is Avangard Omsk, with whom he has played the last three seasons. Other possibilities are the NHL, or his home club in Kladno, where he will eventually take over as club president from his father

If anyone thought the 39-year-old Jágr was beyond the point of being a productive NHL scorer, his performance at the most recent World Championship, where he recorded 8 points in 8 games, showed that he still seems capable of playing hockey at an elite level. All three teams that he played for during his NHL career, Pittsburgh, Washington, and the New York Rangers, have expressed interest. Other possibilities are Montreal and Detroit.

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