It's July 11th and Jaromir Jagr is still without an NHL team.
Last week we joked in our most recent edition of Thumb League that the real reason that Jagr hasn't signed with an NHL team yet is because GMs around the league "miss the old Jagr." As for the real reason that Jagr remains a free agent -- just a guess -- at the moment that likely has more to do with the fact that things slow down significantly in the offseason when people go on vacation. But while NHL teams remain idle, a team in the ECHL has put together a pitch for the game's second all-time scorer to consider joining their team. Even if it's as a "Weekend Warrior."
Monday, the Florida Everblades of the ECHL let it be known that they would be making a push for Jagr's services.
The ECHL’s Florida Everblades announced Monday that the team is extending a roster spot offer to longtime NHL veteran Jaromir Jagr. The invitation to join the Everblades will remain open in the event he does not reach a deal to play in the NHL for the 2017-18 season. The offer is an attempt to bolster the roster for the team’s upcoming 20th Anniversary Season.
There has been a lot of talk and speculation in recent weeks regarding where the elite player will land next season. Numerous reports have stated that several NHL GMs have failed to return Jagr’s phone calls. The Everblades organization is making it known that the phone lines are always open for Mr. Jagr.
The best part of the Everblades' pitch has to be the fact that they are willing to take on Jagr as a part-time player due to the rigorous travel schedule of a minor league hockey team.
The team understands long bus trips may not be appealing to the 45-year old veteran, but is open to an adjusted playing schedule.
“We are definitely open to a ‘Weekend Warrior’ contract for Jaromir,” said Reed. “He could make the easy 90-minute drive across Alligator Alley and just play in our Friday and Saturday home games. Heck, we will even send an intern to personally pick him up and drive him over if necessary.”
As if offering a player that option to play whenever they would like to and only at home games, the Everblades provided a full list of other reasons Jagr should consider joining their squad for the upcoming season.
- Opportunity to play against former NHL standout Trevor Gillies.
- #68 jersey is available and has yet to be retired.
- Opportunity to dethrone Allen’s Chad Costello from winning league scoring title…again.
- $2 Wednesday’s! ($2 hot dogs, beer & wine)
- Best fans in hockey!
- ‘Weekend Warrior” playing option.
- Many NHL Players train here in Estero, Florida each year. Defending South Division Champs.
- Team has made playoffs in 18 of its 19 seasons.
- “We Got Wings Baby!”
- Sleeper bus for road travel stocked with Diet Coke and muffins.
- Brawling with Orlando option. Even our goalies score goals here.
- Might see an alligator in the pond next to the arena.
- 20th Anniversary Season of Everblades Hockey.
- 30th Anniversary Season for the ECHL
Jagr is unlikely to actually consider the offer because...well, you know he's going to want to continue to play at the NHL level, but we must commend the Everblades for their tremendous attempt to lure the legend to their team.