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02-12-2008, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rags225 View Post
Apparantly Jagr i going back to Russia after this season. This will definately lower his trade value a little I think.
Nowhere at all in that article does it say that Jagr is going back to Russian after this season. Jagr has said all along that he would like to return to Omsk at the end of his NHL career. This is not new news. But last I heard, he hasn't made the decision to end his NHL career. In fact, he's said multiple times that he wants to remain in NY. His fear right now is that the Rangers will no longer want him after this season.

By the way, the interview with Konstantin Potapov that you linked to only came about because a reporter took something Jagr said about wanting to (someday) return to Omsk in an interview last week and ran with it. Here's the original interview:

Jaromir Jagr: "I'm Willing to Return to Russia"

The best player in the world over the past decade, captain of the New York Rangers, who appeared for Avangard during the lock out, gave an interview to SE [Sport-Express].

Vasily Ocipov
from New York

The well-know, pathos-arousing[?] Rangers are in crisis. The club which last summer once again began to shake its tight purse and bought up by the gross all probable free agents, were defeated on Tuesday in their own arena by the Los Angeles Kings, the worst team in the league, and yesterday, by Anaheim.

An unhealthy situation in the New York camp on Wednesday confirmed the state of emergency -- a fight in practice between enforcer Avery and Czech defender Malik. During one drill Avery advised the two-meter tall Czech to "stop being so soft", which he immediately did, dropping his gloves and dispatching his "advisor" with several quick blows in an easy knock down. According to rumors, the Czech defender's days in NY are numbered.

This fight has painfully struck the interests of the Rangers captain, Jaromor Jagr, who in fact lobbied for the acquisition of Malik. Add to that the fact that yesterday for the first time this season Rangers fans have booed their idol Jaromir, who has not scored now in seven games straight and not picked up any points in five.

You correspondent can brag of an old acquaintance with number 68. Except in recent days Jagr has refused all requests for interviews with SE. I had no doubt that he would refuse after the game with Anaheim. But -- by miracle! -- seeing me, the Czech willingly began a conversation. And indeed he made several sensational statements which for admirers of Russian hockey are of special interest.

- Jaromir, why have you, the best player in the world, ceased to score?

- Yes, there is a certain slump present in my game, and in the game of the club. But it's not worth making a tragedy out of it. All slumps come to an end sooner or later.

- For two weeks now I have wanted to ask you about the Victoria Cup, in which on October 1st in Bern your Rangers will meet Metallurg from Magnitigorsk.

- To be honest, I'm not sure that by then I will still play for the Rangers -- you could see that happen. I have to thoroughly consider it and reach a decision this summer (on July 1st the Czech can become an unrestricted free agent - V.O.). In any case, I think that for the Rangers the trip to Europe will be an excellent experience and test of strength.

- There exists an opinion, whereby the NHL, in organizing such tournaments, makes a profit off the players, exploits them. For example, the captain of Anaheim, Pronger, maintains that at the start of the season his club's palm was greased for the October tour in London.

- I don't agree with this opinion. Many of the guys on our team already now talk about the trip to Bern with excitement. Especially since during preseason it is always helpful to have a change of scenery to dilute the cheerless practice time.

- Do you think the difference in the preparation of the teams will affect the outcome of the game -- in fact in Russia the season will already be at its height, and the Rangers will only be beginning to prepare for official games?

- No. I believe that when teams in the NHL are first gathering, passions at times boil more intensely then in some matches in the regular season. In fact in the autumn many players are trying to win a place on the roster, fighting for a place on the team. So I assure you it will not be an easy walk for Magnitigorsk!

- Russia still recollects your triumphant play for Avangard in 2004/2005 with delight. Do you follow the Russian Superleague?.

- It's impossible to watch it closely, but I still have many friends in Omsk who try to keep me posted about the most important events.

- And do you remember the beautiful goal what you scored against Magnitigork in overtime in the deciding game of the playoff series?

- Of course I remember (the Czech for the first time recent weeks smiles - V.O.). It was a great moment for me, for Avangard and for all of Omsk. It's possible to call it one of the best moments in my career.

- Did you see the the incident last week where your "friend" from the 2006 Olympics, Jarkko Ruutu, nearly caused serious injury to Ilya Kovalchuk?

- To tell the truth, I did not have time to study the recording.

- But you at least heard that it occurred?

- Of course. It is hard to say why there are players in our league who try to play "to the bone"[?], to purposely cause the opponent injury. Ruutu, frankly, is a dirty player. When he threw me into the boards in Turin, I thought that I would end up an invalid.

- Are you surprised by the head-on speed of your successor in Washington, Alexander Ovechkin?

- Here there cannot be two opinions: the guy can do incredible things! It is obvious that he really feels confidence in his strength and has realized the responsibility which lies with him as the best player on the team. Especially since at 20 years old, you play essentially on emotions. Look how that guy gushes energy!

- Have you not thought returning to Russia?

- I've thought about it - and more than once. I'll say more: I've said repeatedly that I want to return. And once something is promised it is necessary to carry it out. I never felt anything similar to what it was like in Omsk. Tremendous fans, the complete support of the governor, and what a team we had! It's not something you forget, and so I very much hope to repeat those sensations.
As you see, all he's saying is that he'd like to go back and play in Omsk... someday. This is nothing new, he's said all this before...

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