- Associated Press - Friday, July 1, 2011

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Penguins on Friday withdrew their one-year contract offer to forward Jaromir Jagr.

The team made the announcement moments before the free-agency signing period began at noon. The offer was for $2 million.

"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," general manager Ray Shero said. "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."

That direction included signing forward Tyler Kennedy to a two-year deal worth $4 million. Kennedy, 24, had 21 goals and 45 points in 80 games last season with Pittsburgh. In 266 career NHL games, Kennedy has 59 goals and 124 points.

Jagr, 39, was a Pittsburgh draft pick in 1990, and helped lead the Penguins to two Stanley Cup championships. The franchise’s hope was that he accept the offer, play at least one season in Pittsburgh, and then retire with the team he started with.

"Jaromir is one of the greatest players in Penguins history," Shero said, "and we wish him all the best."

Jagr’s agent is former NHL player Petr Svoboda, and he has spoken with the Red Wings and Penguins, primarily, regarding Jagr. But other teams appear now to be in the mix.

Jagr, a Czech native, won an Olympic gold medal in 1998 and a bronze in 2006. He also won two Ice Hockey World Championships in 2005 and 2010.

He has 646 career NHL goals, and if he returns to the league, his career point total would make him the active leader.

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