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Burton: Don’t Blame Jagr

BY:Jonathan Burton
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(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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I have to admit I was shocked to hear that Jaromir Jagr turned down the Penguins’ one-year offer only to ink a deal with the hated Philadelphia Flyers.  But then I thought about it, and I decided one thing: Jagr would have done what anyone else would do.

I know Penguin fans are upset with No. 68 for leaving them at the altar to go play for their bitter, heated rival.  But, fans have to realize that Jagr took the best offer available and he shouldn’t be criticized for it.  He’s going to a team that has a chance to win, and he’ll be making more money.  One local columnist opined that with all the money Jagr’s made in his illustrious hockey career, he shouldn’t have spurned the Penguins for a difference of $1.3 million.  I say: Who are we to tell someone how much money they should take?  What business is it of ours to dictate where someone should play and for how much money?  Isn’t that while we call it FREE agency? (See: James, LeBron)

Jagr is going to a place where he has a chance to win, and he’ll make more money. It’s a no brainer. If a company offers you $50,000 a year to stay with them, but another company offers $80,000, guess what?  You would be on the next thing smoking to the better offer.  It works the same in sports.  Sure, Jagr said all the right things: “It’s not about the money. I would play for the league minimum just to have a chance to join Mario Lemieux’s team once again.”  But, Jagr’s a proud man, and the Flyers were able to pony up more cash, it’s as simple as that.

If you’re getting set to boo Jagr when he, Max Talbot and the Flyers come to Consol Energy Center Dec. 29, have at it.  But, to blame him for signing with the Flyers is simply irrational.

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