Not much new on Jagr. Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, says the Penguins are in the mix. Mario Lemieux is reportedly trying to contact Jagr personally. I hear the third team involved - besides Detroit and Pittsburgh - is New Jersey.
I rate the chances of Jagr returning to Pittsburgh as 50-50, maybe less. Detroit has more cap space, and it would be a signing more typical of the Red Wings.
The anti-Jagr faction points out, rightfully so, that his 1,599 career NHL points don't matter. He's 39, and that was a long time ago.
But his last three seasons in Russia's KHL weren't so long ago. He averaged 1.04 ppg in the second-best league in the world. In his last NHL season - with the New York Rangers in 2007-08 - Jagr had 71 points in 82 games. Brandon Dubinsky was his center. Not Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
Who else can the Penguins sign? Cory Stillman? Nikolai Zherdev? Jussi Jokinen? Those guys might all cost MORE. The Penguins can't afford Michael Ryder. Mike Knuble is almost as old as Jagr. There's going to be an element of risk with any of those guys, Jagr included. So you have to consider risk vs. potential reward.
Jagr at $2.5m works for me.
The Pens need wings. Jagr's a solid wing. The Pens need power-play help. Jagr is great on the PP. There's just no argument against signing Jagr that makes sense. This isn't about sentiment. It's about THE STANLEY CUP.