Revisiting a Classic: #JagrWatch 2011

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Revisiting a Classic: #JagrWatch 2011

Postby FLPensFan on Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:54 pm

Josh Yohe has a piece today, revisiting the 2011 #JagrWatch, which, to me, has new information that I had not heard, and finally, completely solves the riddle of why it never happened.

In 2016, when Jagr made his last visit to Pittsburgh with the Florida Panthers, he opened up a bit (but not fully) on the topic. My sense from what was written around that time was:

--Shero didn't really want Jagr, and gave him a lowball offer.
--Jagr also wasn't keen on Pittsburgh because he would be playing lower in the lineup or not with a center of the correct handedness.

With Yohe's article today, based on new information from Dan Bylsma obtained earlier this week, I think I finally understand what happened. In simplest form, I don't believe Jagr was really enamored with the idea of coming to Pittsburgh. I don't think he was against it, but, I don't think it was his preference. My belief is that everything was orchestrated by Jagr's agent Petr Svoboda to drive up Jagr's price on the market. Here's the breakdown of the timeline:

--According to Bylsma, Shero, Botteril and a couple of scouts were in Bylsma office going over offseason plans. During that meeting, they got a text from Svoboda saying "Would you be interested in Jagr playing for you?" Bylsma said the reaction was mixed, and does tend to support the general thought that Bylsma was interested, and Shero was not as keen. Bylsma said that he was intrigued, Jagr wasn't a need, but, he could certainly envision him helping within certain parameters. Shero's famous quote the night before July 1st was “we're in the hockey business, not the nostalgia business.”

--Based on what Bylsma told Yohe, Svoboda initially told the Penguins Jagr could be had for 800K-1M for a season. However, in the few days leading up to July 1st, Svoboda's demands started changing. He now wanted far north of 2M, there were multiple teams involved, and his story kept changing depending on who he spoke to.

--Yohe mentions there are rumors that Jagr and Lemieux had a handshake deal, but that has never been confirmed by Lemieux or Jagr.

--Bylsma never thought that the deal was imminent, however, he thought it was a strong possibility...strong enough that Bylsma had started strategizing a bit on who would be Jagr's center and how they would use him on the PP. Bylsma basically said Sid probably would not have wanted him as a winger due to his lack of speed, and Bylsma also said he wouldn't have been a good fit for Staal's game. Said Jagr would have likely gone to Malkin, but, they also had James Neal...and if that happened, they never would have discovered the chemistry between Malkin and Neal.

--According to Jagr, he was keenly aware that his PP time in Pittsburgh would be a problem and he wouldn't fit. He knew both Crosby and Malkin liked to play the RW wall on the power play, and, that was Jagr's spot. Bylsma concurred with Jagr's thinking, saying Sid and Geno both like playing the RW wall and he had to rotate them to split the duty so they both got their desired spot. If they had got Jagr, Bylsma says that Geno probably would have been tried on the left side of the ice.

The 2nd item about the 800K-1M salary, and the last item about Jagr himself not seeing a good fit, is what leads me to believe that Svoboda drummed all this up just to raise the hype on Jagr, and raise his salary, and, in the end, Svoboda's commission.

If you have access to The Athletic, here is the article: https://theathletic.com/1879528/2020/06/18/the-inside-story-of-jagrwatch-and-why-it-was-never-meant-to-be/
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Re: Revisiting a Classic: #JagrWatch 2011

Postby Jim on Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:11 pm

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Re: Revisiting a Classic: #JagrWatch 2011

Postby pens_CT on Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:12 pm

FLPensFan wrote:Josh Yohe has a piece today, revisiting the 2011 #JagrWatch, which, to me, has new information that I had not heard, and finally, completely solves the riddle of why it never happened.

In 2016, when Jagr made his last visit to Pittsburgh with the Florida Panthers, he opened up a bit (but not fully) on the topic. My sense from what was written around that time was:

--Shero didn't really want Jagr, and gave him a lowball offer.
--Jagr also wasn't keen on Pittsburgh because he would be playing lower in the lineup or not with a center of the correct handedness.

With Yohe's article today, based on new information from Dan Bylsma obtained earlier this week, I think I finally understand what happened. In simplest form, I don't believe Jagr was really enamored with the idea of coming to Pittsburgh. I don't think he was against it, but, I don't think it was his preference. My belief is that everything was orchestrated by Jagr's agent Petr Svoboda to drive up Jagr's price on the market. Here's the breakdown of the timeline:

--According to Bylsma, Shero, Botteril and a couple of scouts were in Bylsma office going over offseason plans. During that meeting, they got a text from Svoboda saying "Would you be interested in Jagr playing for you?" Bylsma said the reaction was mixed, and does tend to support the general thought that Bylsma was interested, and Shero was not as keen. Bylsma said that he was intrigued, Jagr wasn't a need, but, he could certainly envision him helping within certain parameters. Shero's famous quote the night before July 1st was “we're in the hockey business, not the nostalgia business.”

--Based on what Bylsma told Yohe, Svoboda initially told the Penguins Jagr could be had for 800K-1M for a season. However, in the few days leading up to July 1st, Svoboda's demands started changing. He now wanted far north of 2M, there were multiple teams involved, and his story kept changing depending on who he spoke to.

--Yohe mentions there are rumors that Jagr and Lemieux had a handshake deal, but that has never been confirmed by Lemieux or Jagr.

--Bylsma never thought that the deal was imminent, however, he thought it was a strong possibility...strong enough that Bylsma had started strategizing a bit on who would be Jagr's center and how they would use him on the PP. Bylsma basically said Sid probably would not have wanted him as a winger due to his lack of speed, and Bylsma also said he wouldn't have been a good fit for Staal's game. Said Jagr would have likely gone to Malkin, but, they also had James Neal...and if that happened, they never would have discovered the chemistry between Malkin and Neal.

--According to Jagr, he was keenly aware that his PP time in Pittsburgh would be a problem and he wouldn't fit. He knew both Crosby and Malkin liked to play the RW wall on the power play, and, that was Jagr's spot. Bylsma concurred with Jagr's thinking, saying Sid and Geno both like playing the RW wall and he had to rotate them to split the duty so they both got their desired spot. If they had got Jagr, Bylsma says that Geno probably would have been tried on the left side of the ice.

The 2nd item about the 800K-1M salary, and the last item about Jagr himself not seeing a good fit, is what leads me to believe that Svoboda drummed all this up just to raise the hype on Jagr, and raise his salary, and, in the end, Svoboda's commission.

If you have access to The Athletic, here is the article: https://theathletic.com/1879528/2020/06/18/the-inside-story-of-jagrwatch-and-why-it-was-never-meant-to-be/


People always wanted to blame Jagr and his agent from jacking up the price to sign him that off season. Of course that's the job of the agent to get the best deal for his client but the way he did it so publicly was a low class move.

I don't think Jagr was a fit on those Penguins teams and probably Bylsma would have made the issue worse. I doubt Jagr would have helped those Penguins teams, after he scored against the Pens in that infamous Flyer series he went like the next 30 playoff games without scoring again.
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