Panthers fans chant for Jagr; Tallon still undecided on bringing him back

A sign that Jaromir Jagr may not be re-signing with the Panthers came on a rare tweet sent by the 45-year-old future Hall of Famer Thursday evening during the team’s Summer Summit fan event at the BB&T Center.

“Everywhere I look, I read all free agents getting calls from 10-12 teams. Me, 0 calls. On the contrary, I’m trying to call them and no one’s picking up," tweeted Jagr.

He followed that up with another one: “FA-1994, all GMs called; FA 2017 -- 0 calls.”

With free agency approaching on Saturday the tweets clearly indicate that Jagr feels slighted by the lack of a sense of urgency shown by Panthers general manager Dale Tallon and 30 other GMs.

Despite his young linemates, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, missing a combined 72 games, Jagr, who at times was playing with minor leaguers, notched 16 goals and 46 points, just 8 behind the team leader, Vincent Trocheck.

A fan asked Tallon how the negotiations were going with Jagr which set off a loud chant of J-A-G-R, J-A-G-R from the approximately 900 fans attending the event.

Tallon gave the same answer he’s been giving for months.

“I talked to his agent on a regular basis, Petr Svoboda, almost every day,’’ Tallon said. “I talked to him today; we’ll talk tomorrow.’’

It’s clear that the Panthers don’t want to pay Jagr the same $5.5 million he earned last season ($4 million base plus bonuses).

“$5.5 million isn’t a huge salary?’’ Tallon shot back when asked if money was the issue.

Tallon, who described the talks as, “cordial,’’ was asked if he was disappointed that Jagr, “went public with his frustration.’’

“What am I thrown by? I don’t really care. Why would it bother me. I don’t look at that stuff. I talked to his agent a half hour before we went on that stage and we agreed to talk tomorrow. That’s all I care about.

“Of course, [the window is still open to sign him]. We have ‘til September, October.’’

Several fans wore Jagr’s No. 68 jersey.

“I think they need his leadership,’’ said Lee Haliniewski of Miami. “They need a hockey icon in that locker room with all the changes in the front office and coaches. They need something stable in that locker room and he’s it.’’

“It’s indifferent,’’ said season-ticket holder Andrew Levine of Sunrise. “It’s going to give the young guys a chance. If he does decide to come back he’ll play first- or second-line minutes, but not at $4-5 million. He’s not the Jagr of 20 years ago.’’

If the Panthers don’t re-sign Jagr that would mean the Panthers would enter the 2017-18 season without their top three right wings after allowing the Vegas Golden Knights to pilfer Jonathan Marchessault and acquire Reilly Smith for a 2018 fourth-round draft choice.

Tallon has said he’s entering free agency on Saturday with an aggressive approach, and that he’s looking to add depth at forward and scoring help after finishing 23rd in the NHL last season.

Since joining the Panthers via a trade with the Devils in February of 2015, Jagr has repeatedly set milestones such as becoming the third all-time-leading goal scorer (765) behind Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894). He also became the second all-time points leader with 1,914, far behind Gretzky’s 2,857.

In his first full season in Florida in 2015-16, Jagr became the oldest player ever to lead his team in scoring with 66 points (27 goals).

In 181 games with the Panthers he has 49 goals and 130 points.

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