Jaromir Jagr: They Are Going To Boo Me

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With the NHL season in full swing, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are once again battling it out for Atlantic Division supremacy.

The Flyers overhauled their roster over the summer and brought back a familiar face in the form of Jaromir Jagr.

Jagr skating in the NHL is not a complete surprise, but his decision to join the Flyers annoyed Penguins fans and management.

Back on July 2, it seemed like a done deal. Jagr was supposedly on his way back to Pittsburgh to complete some unfinished business.

However, many people think he used the Penguins’ offer as leverage to get a better offer from Philadelphia.

Bob Pompeani: Did you have conversations with Mario about returning [to Pittsburgh]?

Jagr: I talked to Mario once on the phone. But I know a lot of people are probably mad about my decision. But, I felt like the management didn’t really want me. I think the fans [made them make] the offer. That’s the way I felt. If I was wrong, I apologize, but that’s the way I felt.

Pompeani: Did you ever get an offer from the Penguins?

Jagr: Yes, I did.

Pompeani: A lot of people back in Pittsburgh think you may have used that offer to get a better offer.

Jagr: I can tell you one thing. The offer I got from the Penguins was probably the smallest offer. There [were] three bigger offers than the Flyers. I decided to come back to the NHL. If I wanted to make money I would stay in Russia because I would get [double what I’m getting] here, plus tax free. But, I wanted to play [in the NHL]. I had the feeling again, I don’t know what, but I had the feeling I wanted to come back. I want to try it again. I want to prove [to] myself that I can still play. I thought I can have the best chance to play hockey [in Philadelphia], not just sit around.

My first question when I was talking to [Pittsburgh General Manager Ray Shero] I asked, make sure [Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin] are okay with me to be on a team. That’s very important to me because I don’t want to go to a team where the top guys [are not] going to feel comfortable with me in the lineup. That was the first question, and he can

. I wanted to know if [they were okay] with that.

Pompeani: When you come back, what are you looking forward to? What do you think the fans will do when you step on the ice for the first time?

Jagr: Of course, they are going to boo me, maybe 10 times more than before. It’s fine with me. They paid the tickets, they can do whatever they want. But on the other side, I think the fans [who are]going to boo me, they [weren’t] the fans when I played there. A lot of younger guys don’t even know how I [played] over there. They can hear something, but they were probably kids. But, it’s fine with me. It’s okay.

Jagr will get to face the fans in Pittsburgh for the first time this season on Dec. 29.

More from Bob Pompeani

One Comment

  1. Avg. Joe says:

    The fans made the pens make an offer? You really are a self centered arrogant jerk aren’t you? Do you even understand what it means to part of a team AND part of a community? After all we gave you for eleven years and you’re going to sit there and complain that the management didn’t make you feel wanted? YOU PLAYED 11 SEASONS WITH THE OWNER OF THE TEAM! Money talks, and you listened. I may dislike hoping for injuries, but I hope you’re first in line for IR. (P.S. If you somehow though we were bad fans, wait till you get a load of Philly)

    1. J Reese says:

      I don’t doubt that the Penguins offer was the smallest…they are the smart one’s here. I’m sure that Ray Shero offered Jagr what he is really worth! The other teams overpaid.

      1. Walt says:

        Overpaid? I dunno? 17 points in 17 games doesnt seem too badd compared to his contract and some of the contracts around the NHL and including this team… We’ve paid more for less in the past, I assure you that. so far he has been an excellent pick-up for philly. Unfortunately its philly.

    2. Someone who actually understands hockey says:

      No, wrong… The man has a point! Ownership really didn’t want him much like they didnt want Kovy, the fans wanted Kovy and they decided to give him a go.they went sour and the rest is history… They probably feel Jagr style didn’t fit our system well. He gave us just as much if not more as we gave him. You forget Jagr was the best in the league at one time an he played for us and single-handedly made us a play-off team year in and year out. Look what happen when he left? Technically he didn’t play 11 years with the owner you are wrong… Also even if he did, does that mean he should have signed here? The owner did play “11 years with him” why didn’t he at least match philly’s offer lol? See it’s a double edged sword. I would have loved to see him back home where it started but it wasnt in the cards and I understand. You friend in every which way are delusional and an embarrassment to penguin fans, Jagr will always be one of my favorites for the things he has done for us. Any true penguin fan would know that… Although there’s not many.

      1. Avg. Joe says:

        A good managed team doesn’t fall into the demands of the fans(Understandably, this is why I’m not running the team). He gave us more than we gave him? I’m pretty sure he was paid very well as one of the best players in the league. But you say that Mario should have matched Philly’s offer and paid the guy a ridiculous amount for a one year deal? On a team where the star players take less because they understand that it’s for the TEAM. That’s my whole point. Jagr isn’t a team player. He even admits it in the interview, that he was unsure that Crosby or Malkin would want him on the team. What kind of question is that? Who even thinks like that? Those two think nothing of competition and teamwork. It wouldn’t cross their minds for a second that “well maybe that guy’s better than me and getting more ice time” or “I don’t like him.” That shows the problem with the situation. HE wanted to be the big shot. He talks of us forgetting what it was like when he played here but it seems he is the one who has forgotten it. Thanks for being a TEAM player Jagr.

  2. REALiTY says:

    It’s not YOU Jar, it’s that UGLY uniform you will be wearing!

  3. Battleship Kelly says:


  4. Barbecue Sauce says:

    Why does Ron Cook have 3 jobs covering local sports: post gazette, the Fan, and Nightly Sportscall? First of all we have 9% unemployment. Spread the wealth why dont ya? We also have tons of smart sports people in this town, and Ron Cook is not even one of them. Third, isnt anyone else tired of hearing Ron says the same thing on all 3 venues every day? The guy is a total snoozefest. It’s insulting. Fourth, Cook’s writing is drivel. No original quotes, insights or research. Ever. Ever! Please, people of Pittsburgh, demand better.

  5. Soylent Green says:

    I agree with you Barbecue Sauce.

    Do you know the difference between a bag of hammers and Ron?

    We may never know.

  6. Dave says:

    I understand completely what Jagr was saying about the fans pressured management into making him an offer. If you recall, when it was disclosed that Jagr was looking for an NHL team to play on, Pittsburgh fans went nuts saying how great it would be to see him on the same line as Malkin or Crosby. There was a major fervor in Pittsburgh at the thought of this occurring. I must admit that I got caught up in it as well since I do recall seeing Jagr play when he was a Penguin, and I know his skill and talent. If management didn’t want him, then perhaps he is speaking the truth and that’s why he decided to go to Philly. Remember, Maxine Talbot went to Philly as well, and we all know how beloved he is. I’m sure that Jagr will be booed in Pittsburgh, and he expects it, but don’t think it will affect his level of play. If you’ve seen him play this year, you will know that he is playing some of the best hockey ever! As much as I hate and dispise the Flyers, it should be an intersting match when they come to town.

  7. Cams dad says:

    We are talking about the same Jagr who skipped practices here and when the players from the Stanley Cup years retired or left whined and cried. The same Jagr who forced us to hire a coach who spoke Czech right? Sorry Jags but us longtime fans remember you and didn’t want you back. You were a cancer to our team. You will be booed no doubt but not just because of your uniform but because your the jag off poster child!!!!

  8. Jaromir says:

    I bleed orange and black. Lets go Flyers!

  9. Kaz says:

    This interview is terrible. He asks if Jaromir ever spoke to Mario, but doesn’t point out that Jagr mentioned in the past that he would return here for the minimum if Mario made an offer.

    Taking Jagr at his word (which is a stretch), the Pens offer was the smallest. That’s fine. It doesn’t disprove anything though (unless he’s comparing “want” to dollars). His bringing up Crosby and Malkin also doesn’t mean anything

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