Monday Afternoon Update

Jagr reaches out to Penguins


For Flyers, deal with Bryzgalov seems near, but tricky

Wheeling, dealing a big part of draft week
The Penguins currently have no comment, but were considering options regarding Jagr over the weekend. Jagr’s camp reached out to the Penguins at some point over the past three days.

Jagr, 39, has played the last three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, averaging about a point per game. The Penguins had invited him to an alumni golf tournament this summer that will serve as a reunion of the 1991 Stanley Cup champions.

General manager Ray Shero said that invitation did not include discussions about Jagr playing again for the Penguins, for whom he is second all-time in almost every significant offensive category.

Jagr played for the Penguins from 1990-2001, winning five scoring titles, an MVP and helping them to win the Stanley Cup twice.

Jagr has said he will consider playing another season in the NHL and has mentioned the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Penguins as possibilities.

The Red Wings and Penguins are as of now considered his top choices, but sources said a third team is in the mix. That team is not believed to be Montreal.


Could Ryan Smyth be returning to the Edmonton Oilers in order to finish his career with the team that selected him in the first round of the 1994 entry draft?

A deal certainly isn’t imminent and won’t necessarily be an easy transaction for either the Los Angeles Kings or Oilers to close, but sources tell TSN the 35-year-old left winger has indicated to the Kings his preference would be to play next season in Edmonton if a trade can be worked out.

As much as the potential return of Smyth, a.k.a. Captain Canada, to Edmonton might warm the hearts of sentimentalists who so closely identify the mop-haired veteran with the Oiler franchise, there are some practical reasons why it won’t be an easy deal to facilitate and there’s no guarantee it will happen at all.

For starters, Smyth is an integral part of the Kings’ offence. He scored 23 goals and 47 points in 82 games this past season. He’s fourth on the team in goals and points and he still averaged 18:02 of icetime per game last season, third most (behind only Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown) amongst L.A. forwards.

For Flyers, deal with Bryzgalov seems near, but tricky

Ilya Bryzgalov says the ball is in the Flyers’ court.

Bryzgalov, speaking to Russian newspaper Sport Express in a report that was translated into English over the weekend, said he and his agent left the next move to the Flyers after visiting Philadelphia for 2 days last week with his wife.

Bryzgalov, who turns 31 on Wednesday, met with the Flyers’ brass for the first time since they acquired the big-name goaltender’s rights on June 7.

Bryzgalov told Sports Express that he expected by “Tuesday or Wednesday everything will be [done]. We are waiting for [Philadelphia].”

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said last week that the two sides will resume talks early this week. Bryzgalov’s agent, Ritch Winter, has remained tight-lipped since the Flyers acquired his new client’s rights.

Even though Bryzgalov said the deal should be completed by the middle of the week, the Flyers would not be able to officially sign the extension without first moving salary to remain under last season’s $59.4 million cap. Next year’s number has not yet been announced, though it is believed to be in the $63.5 million neighborhood, and the Flyers are not allowed to exceed last season’s number in next season’s commitments until the new numbers are announced.

Wheeling, dealing a big part of draft week

Hockey diehards will be drooling all over Xcel Energy Center this weekend.

It starts with the fact that every NHL “Who’s Who” will be on one draft floor at the same time. If you attend the entry draft this weekend in St. Paul, you’ll see (to name an absolute few) everybody from Steve Yzerman, Scotty Bowman and Luc Robitaille to Mark Messier, Ron Francis and Cam Neely.

If you’re lucky, you may see Hall of Famer-turned-agent Bobby Orr or former players-turned-league execs Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake scooting by you in the stands.

You’ll have the privilege of witnessing tomorrow’s stars as baby-faced, pimply, clammy-hand 17- and 18-year-olds.

But perhaps the most exciting part of the draft is when Commissioner Gary Bettman steps to the mike and utters those magical words: “We have a trade to announce.”

Yes, there are times the trades don’t live up to the hype, but often times big, big names move at the draft, like in recent years, Chris Pronger, Roberto Luongo, Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay, and in 2006 to the Wild, Pavol Demitra.

Other than the trade deadline, draft week — and often draft day as teams wait until the last possible second to drive up prices — is the second-most active trading time in the NHL.

That’s because between the draft combine, the general managers’ meetings and the draft all happening three weeks apart, GMs have had three recent opportunities to speak face-to-face. In addition, teams often are trying to dump salary before free agency or begin reshaping their rosters.