Jagr had 'no desire' to join Oilers

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

CHICAGO -- The Edmonton Oilers have never had issues about discussing deals they've made, but when it comes to those that apparently fell through, it's another matter.

Oilers GM Steve Tambellini had little to say yesterday on comments attributed to Jaromir Jagr about a possible deal to bring him to Edmonton.

"The player is under contract, and unless he's relieved of his contract, there is no opportunity," Tambellini said.

"We have lot of potential deals; our job as a staff is to do what we did at the trade deadline, which is to work our butts off as a staff to try to improve our hockey club.

"I'm not going to talk about that (possible discussions with Jagr), just like I wouldn't talk about any type of trade that we were working on. We're in competition with 29 other teams."

Yesterday the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, sent out a press release stating Jagr would not be terminating his contract with Omsk.

The release included a quote Jagr, allegedly given to the Czech newspaper Denik Sport, on the possibility of joining the Oilers this season had his team not made the playoffs.

"Yes such an opportunity really existed," Jagr said.

"The teams had discussed how that could be fulfilled. But it did not depend on me.

"Should Omsk ask me to join Edmonton, I'd do that, but that was not something I desired myself.

"After we made the playoffs, the whole thing ceased to be an issue."

The Oilers were said to have some interest in signing the former Hart Trophy winner last summer when he was an unrestricted free agent.

However, Jagr elected to play in the KHL and would have to clear waivers if he elected to return to the NHL.

"Any European player would have to go through waivers," Tambellini said.

"Which means he would be available to anyone that is below us in the standings."


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