After the Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Jaromir Jagr was unsure where he'll end up next season:
"I have to say, thanks for the support from the fans," he said. "I love everybody on this team. That was probably my most enjoyable year I ever had. I won some Cups, I won some trophies, but I love this year. From the organization to the last player on the team and the fans, they were so nice to me.
"I hate to finish it right now. That's the worst feeling. You finish the whole story, the whole year, that's a sad day today for me. I don't want to cry right now."
Well, dab those tears with bags of money, my Czech friend! Darren Dreger of TSN reported on Monday that "Jaromir Jagr enjoyed Philadelphia, but plans on testing free agency. Also plans to change training to shed some pounds and get faster."
He made $3.3 million last season with the Flyers. Where oh where will Jaromir Jagr end up for 2012-13?
The front-runner is still … Philadelphia, who had been talking contract with him as late as June 7.
Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly notes that Jagr's agent Petr Svobda is "is optimistic his client is back" but that GM "Paul Holmgren is at 50/50."
"I haven't spoken to Jaromir or his agent [since] within two days after the season was over," Holmgren said. "We left it at we would talk later on near the end of June. Again, we don't know what the salary cap is going to be, so there is a lot of variables that we have to wait on."
The first round of the NHL draft is June 22. Svoboda tells CSNPhilly.com he plans to speak to Holmgren about Jagr during draft weekend.
In Jagr's favor: The undeniable influence he had playing with Claude Giroux this season, combining with Scott Hartnell to form the Eastern Conference's best line. But there's no question the 40-year-old hit the wall late in the season, with one assist in his last six playoff games.
If it's not the Flyers, a few teams to keep in mind for Jagr:
Detroit Red Wings: The last time Jagr was available as a free agent, his agent called Detroit to pitch his client's services. The Jagr Derby got a little too rich for the Red Wings, who eventually pulled out of it.
Montreal Canadiens: Tomas Plekanec is a friend and was a hell of a linemate for Jagr in the 2011 World Championships. The Habs were rumored to be Jagr's destination when his Omsk contract was up that year.
Edmonton Oilers: Good lord, do they have more pressing needs than a past-his-prime winger, although his presence on what was the third-best power play in the League last season might just make it unstoppable. But with his friend Ales Hemsky there and having already nearly signed with the Oil in 2008, Edmonton can't be counted out if there's interest.
New York Rangers: There's no doubt Jagr wouldn't mind returning to Broadway, but Glen Sather didn't reach out last time he was available.
Pittsburgh Penguins: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA … no.