On some days, after practicing with the team in the morning, Jagr would return to the Voorhees rink at night and work out or go through skating drills. He sometimes was joined by teammates.
"I have nothing but good things to say about him," Holmgren said. "I'm happy for him and happy with the year he had for us."
Tweeted Flyers forward Max Talbot: Best of luck to @68Jagr! Was an honor playing with you! #legend #besthair
Holmgren said he and Jagr's agent, Petr Svoboda, "talked at great length," but he wouldn't say whether he ever offered the 40-year-old veteran a contract.
Jagr, who had an uncanny ability to control the puck for long stretches, helped linemates Claude Giroux (28 goals, 93 points) and Scott Hartnell (37 goals, 67 points) log career seasons.
Returning to the NHL after three years in Russia, Jagr was paid $3.3 million last season - $1.2 million less than what he will earn in Dallas.
Without the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Jagr and the recently traded James van Riemsdyk (6-3, 200), the Flyers are much smaller on the wings. They have been in trade talks for Columbus' Rick Nash (6-4, 219) and Anaheim's Bobby Ryan (6-2, 209), whose $5.1 million cap hit now seems like a bargain.
They also remain in the running for free-agent left winger Zach Parise (5-11, 195), an outstanding two-way player.
Day 3 of free agency passed, and Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter still were unsigned and mulling over their choices. Both stars have lucrative offers from the Flyers, among other suitors.
Holmgren refused to answer any questions about free agency or the trade market.
"All I'll say is that we're busy and actively involved," he said.
Parise told the Minneapolis Star Tribune there was no timetable for his decision, which, he said, was about "so much more than the money. That plays a very small part in it."
He also labeled the process "stressful" - some took that to mean he was feeling bad about possibly leaving New Jersey - and said that it was "much harder" than he had anticipated.
Parise was expected to confer with his father, J.P., a former NHL player, and his mother, Donna, to get their input. But in the end, he told the Star Tribune, "it's a decision my fiancée and I will make together, and that plays a lot into it. We just want to go somewhere that we know we're going to be happy."
The Flyers are believed to have offered 12-year deals to each player with a cap hit between $7 million and $8 million per season.
Pittsburgh, Minnesota, New Jersey, Chicago, and Detroit also are reported to be in the running for Parise, 27, who scored 31 goals for the Devils last season and was called the team's "heartbeat" by coach Pete DeBoer.
Suter, 27, reportedly was offered a 13-year, $90 million deal by Detroit, which may be the front-runner. Ken Holland, the Red Wings' general manager, met with Suter at the player's Wisconsin home Tuesday.
The Flyers did sign three minor-league free agents - forward Mike Testwuide, and defensemen Danny Syvret and Cullen Eddy. They figure to play with the Flyers' AHL farm team, the Adirondack Phantoms, this coming season.
Testwuide, 25, a Colorado native, has notched 30 goals and 38 assists in 142 games with the Phantoms over the last two seasons.
Eddy, 23, split the last two seasons with the Phantoms and the Flyers' ECHL affiliate, Greenville. In 54 games with the Phantoms last season, he had two goals, 13 assists, and 130 penalty minutes.
Syvret, 27, returns for his third tour with the Flyers' organization. Last season, he had seven goals and 35 assists for Peoria, the St. Louis Blues' AHL affiliate.
In 27 career games with the Flyers, Syvret had two goals, including his first career tally in the 2010 Winter Classic in Boston.
Contact Sam Carchidi at email@example.com, or
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