Jagr spurns Penguins for Flyers

Czech Republic's Jaromir Jagr celebrates a goal against the U.S., May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Petr Josek

Czech Republic's Jaromir Jagr celebrates a goal against the U.S., May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Petr Josek

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:51 PM ET

Jaromir Jagr said his heart was in Pittsburgh, but he’ll be cashing a $3.3 million US salary across the state in Philadelphia.

The dithering former Penguins star snapped the patience of general manager Ray Shero on Friday morning, with the club pulling a $2-million offer for next season off the table after a week of being strung along. Whether Jagr was using his old team to get more money elsewhere or not, it took him just a couple of hours to agree to a bigger deal with the rival Flyers.

Dreams of Jagr playing with another Pittsburgh Hart Trophy winner, Sidney Crosby were dashed and the Flyers made the day more difficult for Pens’ fans by adding popular centre Maxine Talbot to the fold.

“I guess it is (treason), but it’s the right thing for me to do,” Talbot joked with TSN.

Talbot had not been expected back after contract talks with Shero hit a wall, but Jagr was a different story. Jagr was even expected to fly into Pittsburgh on Wednesday night — and fans were there to greet him — but he was a no show.

“We made what we thought was a very fair contract offer to Jaromir on Tuesday, based on his stated interest of returning to the Penguins,” Shero said in a statement.

If not Pittsburgh, most thought Jagr would be bound for Montreal where he and fellow Czech Tomas Plekanec have lots of chemistry.

Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that Jagr was “an icon in Pittsburgh” and that “we want him to retire as a Penguin.”

The Penguins did re-sign Tyler Kennedy to stay strong at the right wing spot, for two years at $4 million.


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