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12-02-2012, 12:18 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by gordie View Post
Part of the Pens late 1990's financial problems was Jagr and his contract (highest in the league) he never led the club to even a finals appearance and then he whined about wanting to leave. Hopefully his number will never be retired in the Consol Energy Center rafters. Goodbye and good riddance.
It would seem paying... errr deferring... a similar amount to someone who wasn't even playing (Lemieux) would be more harmful. The amount of additional tickets (and concessions, merchandise, etc.) they sold, plus additional revenue from playoffs should justify paying the best player in the league... like he was the best player in the league.

Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
Jagr has never cared for any of these events. He's been invited to Mario's annual charity golf tournament every summer since 2001 and never showed up once. Last time he even claimed he never got the letter. The Pens then had Zbynek Michalek personally deliver an invitation to him at the WHC. He still didn't show up. Last game ever at the Igloo, over 50 Pens alumni from five decades did a pre-game ceremony, including a 91 year old Jack Riley. Guess who didn't even bother to respond even though his KHL playoffs had already been over a month ago? Exactly. He simply doesn't give a crap so why should the club keep reaching out to him?

The only time Jagr mentions Pittsburgh (the "hell" where he was "dying alive" in the late 90s) is when he tries to start a free agent bidding war for himself. Last time he made up fairytales about how he'd play for league minimum and how his heart was in Pittsburgh, and then he turned around and signed with their biggest rival because they offered a million more. That's Jagr for you, always looking out for himself and never owning up to any stupid things he's ever said and done. His spoiled man-child act has gotten tired a decade ago.

This discussion starts every time some other team's fan wants to tell Penguins fans what to think of Jagr, and it never goes anywhere so this is the last I'll say. I have nothing against the man, he was a great player. He won Art Ross trophies playing with Jan Hrdina and Kip Miller, for God's sake. You can call him a lot of things but not a choker or an underachiever. That those late 90s teams didn't win a Cup wasn't his fault. Hard to win anything when you have no defense.

But I do have a problem with his childish, selfish, pouty character and his disrespect for the organization that bent over backwards to accomodate him and made him a superstar. When things looked bleak he skipped town, he trashed the city, he burned the bridges and never tried to make amends. For a franchise where only Mario Lemieux (for all he did) and a dead rookie (for what could have been) have their numbers retired it should be extremely hard to get this honor. I see nobody else worthy of it right now, and that happens to include Jagr. He is part of the team's ring of honor display, and that's enough.
I'm not going to try to tell anyone how to feel, esp. Pens fans how to feel about Jagr. I think you're right, he just doesn't care for those big, "feel good" events. It's not like he's sipping lemonade on the porch up the street or something either.

It's just a relationship that went a bit sour in some ways, but was mostly great while it lasted. It's water under the bridge now. Jagr said some things he probably shouldn't have, out of frustration, and the Pens (Mario, media, fans) said some things that seem quite unfair as well. Maybe he could have done more to reach out to the fans in Pittsburgh during and after his tenure there, but I didn't see his words or actions as a big middle finger to the organization or city.

Perhaps if the Pens ownership and management hadn't made numerous bad trades and drafts, and driven the team into bankruptcy, then they don't part ways (at least on such bad terms). I thought the idea that Jagr was supposed to grovel at Mario's feet to play for league minimum, just because he made a remark a few years ago in Russia, was rather hilarious. If there's one thing that should have been learned long ago, it's that Jagr often says what's on his mind at that moment, in English as he understands it. His random remarks to reporters shouldn't be analyzed like a statement from the Kremlin during the cold war.

He's full of surprises, so whether he never comes back to the NHL due to the lockout... or plays a final year in Pittsburgh at some point, it won't be shocking.

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