After not being offered a contract by the Florida Panthers this offseason, it appears Jaromir Jagr's hockey days in South Florida are through.
Or are they?
A professional team located less than a two-hour drive northwest of the Panthers' Sunrise arena is trying to lure Jagr to join their squad.
And he only has to play on the weekends.
The Florida Everblades — a minor-league ECHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes — are making a plea for Jagr to come west and play for them.
Based in Estero (which is between Naples and Fort Myers on Florida's southwest coast), the Everblades have been a successful franchise over the years and — unlike the Panthers — make frequent postseason appearances.
The Everblades have made a number of enticing offers to Jagr (anything financial hasn't been made public) including the option to only playing home games on the weekend — and having an intern come to Fort Lauderdale to pick him up and drive him across Alligator Alley to Germain Arena.
The Everblades say they are open to a 'Weekend Warrior' schedule for Jagr.
“We believe this deal makes sense for both sides,” said Everblades PR manager and broadcaster Alex Reed on the team's website.
“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.”
Jagr, 45, stuck around South Florida this offseason and had his gear in his locker at the Panthers' training facility in Coral Springs as recently as the days leading up to the free agency period opening on July 1.
The Panthers, who said in the months leading up to free agency that they were talking to Jagr's agent, never made a financial offer to the future Hall of Famer said GM Dale Tallon.
Jagr, as of Wednesday morning, remained a free agent meaning he could possibly return to the Panthers.
Or, play elsewhere.
Maybe even Estero.
"The NHL’s loss could become our gain,” Reed wrote. “He is a high-end player who wants to win, and that kind of mindset fits in well with our winning tradition.”