Pens reject Jagr; sign Sullivan, Kennedy
The Pittsburgh Penguins scratched former franchise star Jaromir Jagr off their free-agent wish list.
The team withdrew its one-year, $2-million US deal to Jagr, executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero announced Friday morning.
"We made what we thought was a very fair contract offer to Jaromir on Tuesday, based on his stated interest of returning to the Penguins," said Shero. "We made our best offer from the start, given our salary cap structure, in an attempt to facilitate a deal.
"But now, after several days, with an extended time frame for making a decision, and additional teams getting involved, we have decided to move in a different direction. It was never our intention to get involved in a free agent bidding war, and we have to focus on our team.
The 39-year-old was taken with the fifth overall pick by the Penguins in 1990. Along with Hall of Famer and team owner Mario Lemieux, Jagr helped lead the franchise to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1991 and '92.
"Jaromir is one of the greatest players in Penguins history," Shero said, "and we wish him all the best."
Jagr later signed with Philadelphia.
After moving on from Jagr, Pittsburgh quickly re-signed Tyler Kennedy to a two-year deal that will average $2 million per season.
The Penguins failed to qualify Kennedy earlier this week but only because doing so would have locked the player in to a modest raise from the $750,000 last season.
Kennedy set career highs with 21 goals, 24 assists and seven power-play markers in 80 games.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native has played in 266 career games with the Penguins, and has played in two Stanley Cup finals, with one ring to his name.
Veteran forward Steve Sullivan, who turns 37 next week, said via Twitter Friday afternoon that he was signing with Pittsburgh on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million US.
After playing all 82 games in 2009-10, Sullivan again encountered injury issues the past season with Nashville. He scored 10 goals and 12 assists in 44 regular season games.
Sullivan has notched 266 goals and 416 assists in a career of 890 games, with previous turns with New Jersey, Toronto and Chicago.