We know the Panthers aren’t bringing Jaromir Jagr back in 2017-18, but if an ECHL team has its way No. 68 will continue playing in the state of Florida.
The Florida Everblades extended a roster spot offer to Jagr for next season in an effort to add the legend for the team’s 20th anniversary season. Earlier this summer the NHL’s Panthers said they would not extend a new offer to Jagr and the player himself has tweeted about the (real or not) lack of interest from other NHL teams.
The Everblades want Jagr to know their phone lines are always open to him.
“We believe this deal makes sense for both sides,” Everblades public relations manager and broadcaster Alex Reed said in a release. “Jaromir will have the opportunity to continue to play the game that he loves, while remaining in the tropical paradise of South Florida. From the team side, well that’s obvious. Just imagine watching number 68 skate on Germain Arena ice, with his long hair flowing behind him. The whole thing just gives us chills.”
The team does note that Jagr’s 45-year-old body may not find the long bus rides of an ECHL road trip to be an ideal situation, so they’ve offered to make him a “Weekend Warrior” where he can come in for home games only, if he so chooses. He doesn’t even have to drive himself.
“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.”
And if Jagr still needed any convincing, the Everblades provided a list of reasons why he should join their team.
• 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