When Florida’s season ended last season, Dale Tallon and Jaromir Jagr came to an agreement and announced a new one-year contract the next day.
That didn’t happen Tuesday during the team’s locker-clean-out day, but it appears the two sides might get a deal done soon.
Jagr, a future Hall of Famer, is said to want to come back to the Panthers, and the team wants him to return.
It’s not known when a new contract will be announced, but it looks like it could come soon.
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“We’ll see what happens, my agent is going to talk to Dale,” Jagr said.
Said Tallon: “I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement at some point. I can’t talk for him, but it’s a win-win for all of us. He’s been great, on and off the ice with our young guys. That’s the most important part of all of it.”
Jagr, 44, finished his first full season with the Panthers by leading the team with 66 points and was second to linemate Sasha Barkov with 27 goals.
The playoffs were a disappointment to Jagr, as he ended with no goals in six games — his second-longest such drought of the season — and just two assists.
Jagr reiterated comments made following Sunday’s double-overtime loss to the Islanders in Game 6 that he plans to be more prepared for his next postseason.
“I’m very upset about the playoffs,” said Jagr, who has gone 37 consecutive playoff games without a goal. “I didn’t play in them for three years and sometimes with the confidence, you don’t score for a couple games and you put pressure on yourself. Even me, at my age, I learn a lot from that. I’m going to be more ready than I was this year.”
Tallon hopes to get a number of deals done in the coming weeks as Brian Campbell will be an unrestricted free agent and Erik Gudbranson and Vincent Trocheck are restricted free agents.
Florida could also re-sign free agent wingers Teddy Purcell and/or Jiri Hudler, who were acquired just before the trade deadline.
“We’re going to talk for sure,” said Campbell, who signed an eight-year deal worth $57 million while Tallon was GM of the Blackhawks in 2008.
“I need to talk to my wife, we’ve been looking around at places, looking at houses and stuff. It’s definitely, for us, on the radar.”
▪ Center Nick Bjugstad said he would have played Tuesday had the Panthers won Game 6 after losing his footing and smashing face-first into the boards during overtime of Game 5.
Bjugstad didn’t travel with the team to New York for Game 6 but said he didn’t lose consciousness after hitting his head and was lucky not to have sustained a concussion.
“It was a tough way to end the whole deal but I’m totally fine,” said Bjugstad, who had a number of stitches above his left eye. “I’m symptom free thankfully, somehow. I watched the replay and thank God it wasn’t something more severe. I got lucky.”
▪ Center Dave Bolland and captain Willie Mitchell did not participate in exit meetings Tuesday.
Bolland, who hasn’t played since December with serious back and ankle issues, is said to be in Canada and will likely not return to the Panthers despite three years and $16.5 million remaining on the contract he signed in 2014.
Mitchell is expected to retire after numerous concussions, the last one coming in January.
“When I first talked to him and found out what was going on with him, we got a good cry,” Aaron Ekblad said. “It’s a tough thing for a player. Everyone experiences it at some point, that point where you can’t play anymore. … Willie’s really lucky to have had such a great career and do so many great things.”
▪ Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov sustained a sprained shoulder in the second period of Sunday’s game and coach Gerard Gallant said he wouldn’t have been available if there was a Game 7 on Tuesday.
The injury isn’t serious, however, with Kulikov saying it will need some rehabilitation but not surgery.