Jagr says he wants to give Russia a shot

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Jaromir Jagr is leaving the Czech
league to play in Russia during the NHL lockout.

The New York Rangers forward signed with Omsk Avangard of the
Russian league early Sunday and is to leave for Russia by the end
of the week, the daily newspaper Sport said Monday.

"I want to try it," said Jagr, who has been playing for his
native town Kladno. "Maybe I'll be back within a month."

The Canadian Press also reported Jagr's signing Monday.

More than 50 Czech players, including stars Milan Hejduk, Patrik
Elias and Tomas Vokoun, returned home during the lockout.

The Rangers told The Associated Press they did not know about
the switch. A call to Avangard's offices was not answered.

A competing Russian club, AK Bars Kazan, reached deals with Brad
Richards and Nikolai Khabibulin of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa
Bay Lightning as well as wing Alexei Kovalev of the Montreal

They join a star-studded lineup at Kazan that also includes Ilya
Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers, Vincent Lecavalier of the
Lightning, Nik Antropov of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Darius
Kasparaitis of the Rangers, Ruslan Salei of the Anaheim Mighty
Ducks, Fred Brathwaite of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Denis Arkhipov
of the Predators and Alexei Morozov of the Pittsburgh Penguins.