Update, 12:40 p.m.: Hossa is close to signing with Red Wings: one year, $7.4 million.
Early on in our conference call with Glen Sather, I asked the Rangers GM if he thinks there will be a resolution to Jaromir Jagr’s contract situation today. Sather said he wasn’t sure, but that he’d imagine it wouldn’t take much beyond that.
Come to think of it, I’ve asked questions about timing to almost everyone I’ve talked to. I’m not sure why: maybe it’s the tedium of waiting; maybe it’s knowing the long 4th of July weekend is approaching and I don’t want to spend it inside and glued to a computer screen and a cell phone. Or maybe it’s because I’m just as curious as the rest of you to know what the Rangers will look like when they drop the puck in Prague.
Unfortunately these are all issues outside of my control. If it were up to me, the free agency frenzy would be bottled into two short hours, and there’d be a catered lunch served right after (thus rendering unnecessary my repeated trips to the refrigerator).
On the flip side, though, there is some urgency for everyone else. For instance, if Marian Hossa is indeed sifting through offers from teams like Edmonton, Pittsburgh, and yes, the Rangers, those teams want the wing to make a decision so they can get to work on Plan B, or if they’re successful, the rest of Plan A.
And with each passing hour, the more it seems like Hossa is the Rangers’ Plan A and Jagr is only a fallback option. Think about it: if Jagr was the Rangers’ first priority all along, they could have signed him days, weeks or even months earlier.
Instead, they’ve probably gone this far with the captain because they’ve been busy looking over his shoulder. And it’s only when (and if) they run out of other appealing alternatives that they might be ready to turn their attention back to him.