Jagr, who played in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League for the past three seasons, spent the first 11 seasons of his National Hockey League career with the Penguins. He last played in the NHL in 2007-08 with the New York Rangers.
The Penguins withdrew their offer after Jagr held discussions with other teams in an attempt to get more money, Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said.
“We made what we thought was a very fair contract offer to Jaromir, based on his stated interest of returning to the Penguins,” Shero said in a statement. “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. We wish him the best.”
Jagr won both of his Stanley Cup titles with the Penguins, in 1991 and 1992. Pittsburgh took him with the No. 5 pick in the 1990 draft.
Also today, the Flyers signed center Max Talbot to a multiyear contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed by the team. TSN reported it to be worth $9 million over five years.
Jagr, who had 15 consecutive seasons with 30 or more goals, is ninth on the NHL’s scoring list with 1,599 points. He trails former Colorado Avalanche center Joe Sakic by 42 points for eighth. Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh’s owner and a former teammate of Jagr, is seventh.
In other transactions announced on the NHL’s website, the Montreal Canadiens added center Erik Cole from Carolina. Cole’s contract is for four years and $18 million, according to TSN. The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman James Wisniewski to a multiyear contract, the team said. TSN reported it to be worth $33 million over six years. The New York Rangers signed center Mike Rupp from Pittsburgh. Rupp’s contract is worth $4.5 million over three years, he said in a televised interview on NHL Network.
The Phoenix Coyotes added forward Raffi Torres from the Vancouver Canucks and goalie Mike Smith. Smith spent last season with the Tampa Lightning, who recently re-signed goalie Dwayne Roloson. The Lightning then added goalie Mathieu Garon from Columbus.
The Colorado Avalanche acquired goalie Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals for two draft picks, including a first- rounder in 2012. Former Avalanche goalie Petr Budaj then signed with Montreal. Former Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore, who spent last season in Minnesota, was sign by the Florida Panthers.
The Winnipeg Jets, who relocated from Atlanta earlier this month, made their first free agent signing by adding defenseman Derek Beech from the Detroit Red Wings. Beech agreed to a one- year, $700,000 contract, TSN reported.
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