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Will Jaromir Jagr play for Philadelphia Flyers again next season?

Sean Leahy
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After spending three seasons in the KHL, Jaromir Jagr's return was one of the biggest stories of the NHL off-season. Through the soap opera of his courtiship by the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the eventual shock of him signing a 1-year, $3.3 million deal with their cross-state rivals; and a season where he was more than just a body on the Philadelphia Flyers' roster, the 40-year old Jagr answered every question about his comeback.

He was healthy: Playing 73 games for the Flyers during the regular season and all 11 in the playoffs.

He was effective: Scoring 19 goals and putting up 54 points and helping to improve Philadelphia's power play from 16.6-percent last season to 19.7 this year with 20 power play points. Unlike his previous roles in the NHL, Jagr didn't need to be the guy. He was surrounded by the likes of Giroux, Danny Briere, Scott Hartnell and -- as we watched develop during the season -- Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds.

So after their second round elimination to the New Jersey Devils and with Jagr scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, what does the future hold for him?

"Right now, I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen," said Jagr after Game 5.

"It was probably my most enjoyable year I've ever had. I won some Cups. I won some trophies, but I love this year."

Jagr has said in the past that no matter how long his hockey career lasts his final season will be with HC Kladno of the Czech league, the team he grew up playing for and currently owns and operates with his father. While his faith and energy may have him believing he can play until he's 50, would he be game for another year in the NHL?

Judging by this season, why not?

Jagr came into this situation knowing he was a 39-year old going on 40. He wasn't the 19-year old making highlight-reel plays anymore. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren didn't bring him in to carry the offensive load. He was a supplement to an already dangerous offense and not only did he contribute, he also had an influence on his younger teammates, namely Giroux and Sean Couturier, who he compared to his former teammate in Pittsburgh, Ron Francis.

The Jagr Experiment wasn't a failure and you could see with each passing game, despite the loss of a step, the confidence was still there and he quickly realized his decision to return was the right one.

Whether or not Jagr is playing in the NHL in 2012-13 will be up to him, but after one season back, we may not be ready for a final Jagr salute.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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