Penguins withdraw Jagr's contract offer

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

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 12:46 PM ET

The Pittsburgh Penguins have withdrawn their one-year contract offer to Jaromir Jagr.

The Pens appeared to be on the verge of enticing Jagr back to North America when general manager Ray Shero confirmed the $2 million deal late Tuesday, adding that Jagr had until Wednesday to either accept or decline the offer.

However, after hearing nothing from the 39-year-old for three days, the offer was retracted Friday morning.

"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. "We made our best offer from the start, given our salary cap structure, in an attempt to facilitate a deal. But now, after several days, with an extended time frame for making a decision, and additional teams getting involved, we have decided to move in a different direction.

"It was never our intention to get involved in a free-agent bidding war, and we have to focus on our team."

Jagr has spent the last three seasons with Avangard Omsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League. In 155 games, he posted 66 goals and 146 points.

A feared offensive threat, the native of the Czech Republic departed the National Hockey League after a 25-goal, 71-point campaign with the New York Rangers in 2007-08.

Jagr was the selected by the Pens with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 draft, and played the first 11 seasons of his storied career in the Steel City, under the tutelage of superstar Mario Lemieux.

His finest season with Pittsburgh came in 1995-96, totaling 62 goals and 149 points in 82 games, finishing second in the league scoring race to Lemieux. Jagr was named captain prior to the 1998-99 season, and remained in that role until Lemieux was once again named to the post in 2001.

After a 121-point campaign in 2000-01, the Penguins encountered financial difficulties and Jagr was shipped in a five-player deal to the Washington Capitals, where he spent two-plus seasons before he was traded to New York.

All told, the five-time Art Ross Trophy winner scorched NHL goaltenders for 646 goals and 1,599 points in 1,273 games with the Penguins, Capitals and Rangers.


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