This isn’t ex­actly the Florida of­fer Jagr was hop­ing for

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - HAR­VEY FIALKOV

Hockey icon Jaromir Jagr made it clear that he wanted to re­main in Florida and play for the Pan­thers again this sea­son.

But the in­ter­est wasn’t re­cip­ro­cated as gen­eral man­ager Dale Tal­lon cut off ne­go­ti­a­tions with the 45year-old free agent right-winger.

How­ever, Jagr still has the op­tion to re­main in South Florida. The Florida Everblades, an ECHL mi­nor league club based in Es­tero, have ex­tended a ros­ter spot of­fer to hockey’s sec­ond all-time points scorer if he doesn’t re­ceive any other of­fers from an NHL team.

“We be­lieve this deal makes sense for both sides,” said Alex Reed, the Everblades pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager and broad­caster in a re­lease. “Jaromir will have the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue to play the game that he loves, while re­main­ing in the trop­i­cal par­adise of South Florida.

“From the team side, well, that’s ob­vi­ous. Just imag­ine watch­ing num­ber 68 skate on Ger­main Arena ice, with his long hair flow­ing be­hind him. The whole thing just gives us chills.”

Nei­ther Jagr nor his agent, Petr Svo­boda, have re­sponded to the of­fer on the ta­ble.

Jagr, who made $5.5 mil­lion last sea­son with the Pan­thers that in­cluded $1.5 mil­lion in in­cen­tive bonuses, had 16 goals and 46 points in 82 games de­spite play­ing with­out his two stand­out line­mates — Jonathan Hu­berdeau and Aleksander Barkov — for large chunks of the sea­son.

The Everblades are will­ing to grant Jagr sev­eral perks in an at­tempt to en­tice him to ac­cept their of­fer. They would not only al­low Jagr to only play in home week­end games on Fri­day and Satur­day, but they would also drive him up and back across Al­li­ga­tor Al­ley.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Jaromir Jagr has an of­fer from Florida ... but not the Pan­thers.

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