July 1 is the first day of free agency in the National Hockey League, and it's opened with a flurry of action.
In somewhat of a surprise, Jaromír Jágr has signed to play with the Philadelphia Flyers. The deal is for one year and is worth USD 3.3 million.
Jágr has spent the past three seasons playing for the KHL's Avangard Omsk and, while his return to the NHL was highly anticipated, signing with Philadelphia was not. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit, Red Wings, and Montreal Canadiens were speculated to be his most likely destinations. Media outlets in the Czech Republic had been reporting since Tuesday that a deal with Pittsburgh was imminent.
Jágr has long said that he intends to finish his career in his hometown of Kladno, where he will take over the role of club president from his father, Jaromír Jágr Sr. Whether that will happen after this one-year deal is completed remains to be seen.
Other Czechs who have landed on new NHL teams this day are Jan Hejda, formerly of Columbus, who has signed with the Colorado Avalanche and Radek Dvořák, formerly of Atlanta, who has signed with the Dallas Stars.