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Jaromir Jagr Unlikely To Return To Penguins, NHL

Jaromir Jagr's recent play for the Czech Republic at the hockey world championships and his current lack of a professional contract have touched off plenty of speculation about the possibility of an NHL comeback. There have been plenty of rumors that he could return to the Penguins, specifically, after it emerged that the Pens planned to invite him to a summer golf event for Pens alumni. But it sounds like Jagr is unlikely to return to the NHL or to the Pens.

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A couple of people with knowledge of Jagr's status said Saturday he has had talks with teams in the Russian league - including SKA St. Petersburg - about a contract for 2011-12, and that, at age 39, he has not seriously considered an NHL comeback.

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That's a shame - the injury-decimated Pens continue to need the help, and a return to Pittsburgh would be a great way for Jagr to cement his legacy as an NHL superstar. Dejan Kovacevic still thinks Jagr could be really good, too:

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And, from watching him up close in Vancouver last winter at the Olympics, I can offer that there is absolutely no question he would continue to be an impact player in the NHL, even if he is not the mullet-headed, stickhandling wizard so many of us recall. There were many hockey executives there shaking their heads that he was wasting his time in Russia rather than adding to his points and legacy in the NHL.

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Jagr last played in the NHL in 2008, and his last season in Pittsburgh was 2000-2001. It seems wild that he's still young enough to make an impact.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.