Updates on Jaromir Jagr, Tim Thomas and Ilya Bryzgalov on an otherwise quiet late-July Sunday.
NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis cited reports out of the Czech Republic claiming the New Jersey Devils are pursuing unrestricted free agent winger Jaromir Jagr. One of the reports claimed there’s a “99 percent” chance of Jagr signing with the Devils, while another report claimed Jagr was in Newark last week checking out the Prudential Center, the Devils home arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr’s agent, who was quick to deny recent rumors linking his client to the Buffalo Sabres, wouldn’t confirm or deny if the winger was indeed in New Jersey last week. At least the “Where Will Jagr Sign?” guessing game has provided a bit of excitement in what’s becoming a dull off-season for free agent news.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli acknowledged how quiet it’s become over the past two weeks in the UFA market, citing the reduction of the salary cap, but suggesting things could pick up late in the summer when training camps are close to opening. Chiarelli insists he’s not looking to add any more players via trade or free agency.
Tim Thomas’ agent confirmed he’s spoken with several teams trying to find the right fit for his client. If a team does come calling, Thomas might only get a training camp tryout at this point. The Flyers and Islanders were rumored to have interest in Thomas. It was thought the Columbus Blue Jackets might also have interest but they now appear set with Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets are indeed set with the 2013 Vezina winner as their starter. The Flyers are also set with Steve Mason and Ray Emery. That leaves the Islanders, but they’ve decided to stick with Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin. The Panthers appear to be going with Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen. The Oilers will stick with Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera, and if Miikka Kiprusoff retires, the Flames will apparently go with Karri Ramo and Joey MacDonald. At this point, the only clubs where Thomas could be a fit right now are the Islanders, Panthers and Flames, but only if their respective tandems struggle through preseason or the start of the new season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of goalies without many potential NHL destinations…