A report from Czech outlet Hokej, relayed by TSN, says Jagr will open the season playing for Hockey Club Kladno (Kladno HC), the same Czech Republic ice hockey league team that he owns. Things are subject to change according to the report, but all indications are that Jagr, who appeared in all 82 games with the Florida Panthers in 2016-17, will take the ice for Kladno as soon as Saturday.
The plan, per Hokej, would allow Jagr to leave Kladno at any time in the event the veteran finds a new NHL home during the season. (And why wouldn't it? Imagine Jagr entering his own office to have a conversation with himself about leaving his own team.)
The news shouldn't be too surprising considering the two-time Stanley Cup champion, in half-joking fashion,. But the longtime forward has also said time and time again that he wants to continue his 23-year NHL career, repeatedly wondering aloud why he has not garnered enough interest as a free agent.
Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, announced in late August that he was Calgary Flames never translated into a contract for the veteran, who had 46 points with the Panthers a season ago. And at least three other teams, including the Panthers, who to offer Jagr a new deal, publicly ruled themselves out of the mix for the five-time Art Ross Trophy winner.but reported interest from the
In, Jagr also previously said that he was willing to wait for the right opportunity in the NHL, although he was specific in some of his apparent demands for a new landing spot:
"It's about going to a team where they have, let's say, fewer wings; going to the team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup; and going to the team that plays similar kind of hockey as I do. And to the team where I know there [are] a couple of players that I could click with playing together. Money is a factor, too. But not because of the money itself, but because if you took an offer with a minimal salary, it could easily happen that after the first half of the season they tell you, 'Bye,' and you don't have a spot on the roster anymore."
It turns out he won't have a roster spot at all, at least in the NHL, and at least for now. He does, however, have one for Kladno.