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Thursday, October 11
Updated: October 12, 4:05 PM ET
Source: Jagr deal worth nearly $60M news services

WASHINGTON -- Jaromir Jagr is close to signing a five-year contract extension with the Washington Capitals worth nearly $60 million, a source close to the negotiations said Thursday.

Jaromir Jagr

The agreement, which would keep Jagr in a Capitals uniform through 2008, would be among the biggest in the NHL.

Jagr has two years remaining on his current deal, and the extension would also increase his salary for the next two seasons, said a source close to the negotiations speaking on condition of anonymity.

Jagr, Witt out
Capitals forward Jaromir Jagr (knee) and defenseman Brendan Witt (leg) did not skate with the club Friday morning and will not play in the evening game at Anaheim. They also are questionable for Sunday's game in Phoenix.

The source said the negotiations were not yet complete. The Canadian sports network TSN reported that the deal could be signed as early as next week.

The New York Post, citing two well-placed sources, reported Thursday that the All-Star right wing has already signed a five-year, $55 million contract extension with the Caps.

"It's already done," The Post quoted one unnamed source as saying following the Caps' morning skate at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

The Post quoted a second unnamed source as saying: "It's done, but there's a great deal of sensitivity about the timing of the announcement in light of the (Sept. 11) attacks and the war."

Capitals general manager George McPhee refused comment Thursday afternoon in Anaheim after the team arrived for Friday night's game with the Mighty Ducks, indicating that when a deal is completed, an announcement would be made.

Jagr's agent, J.P. Barry, had no comment.

Jagr did not participate in the Capitals' brief workout in Anaheim after the cross-country flight, instead opting for treatment on the knee he injured in Wednesday night's 5-2 victory over the Rangers in New York.

McPhee said Jagr is questionable for Friday night's game.

Jagr is scheduled to earn $9.5 million this season and $10.25 million next season. The new deal would increase his salary by more than $1 million each of those two seasons, the source said.

Jagr, who has won four consecutive NHL scoring titles, was acquired from Pittsburgh in July in the biggest trade in Capitals history. McPhee and Barry said at the time they would be amenable to discuss a long-term contract extension.

Jagr had a goal and an assist in his Capitals debut Saturday night. He also had two assists in the first period of Wednesday night's victory over the New York Rangers before leaving the game with a knee injury. Team officials said the injury is not serious and that Jagr would be "day to day."

The NHL's richest total contract is the 10-year, $87.5 million deal signed by Alexei Yashin with the New York Islanders this year, but Yashin's yearly average doesn't approach the nearly $20 million per year Jagr would make.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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