The KHL just sent out the following press release:
Avangard Omsk winger Jaromir Jagr gave the Czech paper Denik Sport his thoughts on the rumors that he was going to leave Avangard of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) to join the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers next season.
Despite the speculations during the last weeks of the KHL regular season and the Gagarin Cup playoffs that he was planning to return to the NHL, the player himself commits his future to Avangard, the team he is contracted with for another year - Denik Sport reports.
Nonetheless, the possibility of Jagr returning to the NHL wearing an Oilers jersey was actually real. The Oilers and Avangard had reportedly reached an agreement that if Avangard did not reach the Gagarin Cup playoffs or was swept in the first round by Salavat Yulaev, Jagr was cleared to report to Edmonton.
“Yes, such an opportunity really existed,” Jagr told Denik Sport. “The teams had discussed how that could be fulfilled. But it did not depend on me. Should Omsk ask me to join Edmonton, I’d do that. But that was not something I desired myself. After we made the playoffs, the whole thing ceased to be an issue”.
Now the question for Nashville Predators fans is, how much has David Poile explored such a possibility regarding Alexander Radulov? Granted, given the contentious nature of the Radulov situation compared to Jagr's, it's unlikely that the Predators and Salavat Yulaev Ufa (which lost in the 1st round of the Gagarin Cup) would ever come to such an agreement (for the Preds, it would be tantamount to validating Radulov's status as a KHL player first and foremost). I'm guessing Poile's plan right now is to stand pat and wait for Radulov to make the next move.
All the same, it's interesting to see that the rumors about Jagr-to-the-Oilers being validated to some extent, and opens the door to other such opportunities in the years ahead. Instead of a Glenn Anderson coming out of retirement for a Stanley Cup run, you could have a Jagr or Yashin coming back from Russia at the trading deadline.