As I noted today (although my story is curiously not online this morning) and John Dellapina “elaborated on”:http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/2008/03/28/2008-03-28_jaromir_jagr_may_be_russian_to_leave.html, Jaromir Jagr reversed course from yesterday’s morning skate and said he would at least hear out representatives from Omsk about a return there next season.
The timing is curious, to put it mildly. On one hand, Jagr says it’s not the right time to be discussing such matters with the Rangers in the middle of a stretch drive. But he also plans to do just that when Omsk GM Anatoly Bardin comes to New York next week — with another purpose of the trip to talk to the Rangers about a transfer fee for Alexei Cherepanov.
Either way, it’s looking more and more like Jagr’s tenure in New York will end after this season. The only way I see that changing is if the Rangers make a spirited playoff run and the captain proves himself to be indispensable in helping the team get over the hump. Otherwise, we might have to savor his various idiosyncrasies while we still can.
Meanwhile, in other news:
<li>In addition to playing what may have been his most impressive game as a Ranger, Scott Gomez went public with his preferred nickname for Nigel Dawes: “Black Magic” (hardly politically correct, I know, but as a minority in hockey himself, Gomez may have some latitude). This, mind you, was after trying to get his teammates to call him, “Blood and Guts,” and after his failed attempt to pin the name “The Big Smooth” on Brendan Shanahan earlier in the season. Shanahan shut that one down himself. “Actually, I prefer Brendan,” Shanahan said at the time.
<li>Dawes scored his second big goal on Martin Brodeur in eight days, with last night’s backbreaker (get it?) following his shootout clincher in Newark last Wednesday. “At least he can’t say I fanned on this one,” Dawes said.
<li>The Rangers are off today, and reconvene tomorrow before heading to Pittsburgh. I’ll check in later..