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Friday, June 17, 2011
Jaromir Jagr considering NHL return

By Pierre LeBrun
ESPN.com

Jaromir Jagr confirmed to ESPN.com Friday that he's considering a return to the NHL if there's a team willing to take him.

"There's a possibility, yes. My agent has talked to teams," Jagr told ESPN.com from his native Czech Republic.

"First we'd have to see if it can happen," he added. "But if it happened, it would be very exciting. It also would be a nice challenge. There would be some people who think I'm not good enough."

The 39-year-old winger, a former NHL All-Star with Pittsburgh, Washington and the New York Rangers, has played the past three seasons with Avangard Omsk in Russia's KHL. He still could end up returning there.

"We'll see what happens. I think the decision is going to be made soon," Jagr said. "I have to decide soon if I stay in Russia because training camp starts two months earlier."

Jagr's new agent, former NHL player Petr Svoboda, told ESPN.com Friday morning from Europe that a decision could be made this weekend.

"I've talked to Montreal, I've talked to Detroit, a few other teams called once they found out he was ready to go to [the] NHL," Svoboda told ESPN.com. "Hopefully we should have a better idea by tomorrow. There's quite a few teams that have interest. Jaromir feels he's NHL-ready again. I believe this might happen."

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed his team was in the mix.

"We have been contacted and we have interest. We're exploring our interest," Holland told ESPN.com Friday.

Holland did not elaborate, but salary-cap implications are at play here. With the retirement of Brian Rafalski and the cap going up again for next season, the Red Wings could have as much as $10 million to play with.

Svoboda, meanwhile, said Pittsburgh was not among the teams he had spoken with as of Friday morning. The agent said if Jagr does sign with an NHL club, it would be for only a one-year deal.

"I just want to make sure it's the right fit," Svoboda said. "He's played really well the last few years in Russia. I think he's got a lot left."

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.