Shipment of Jaromir Jagr bobbleheads stolen, prompting Penguins to postpone giveaway

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In the depths of a disappointing season, the Pittsburgh Penguins planned to give their fans a reason to rejoice Thursday by handing out collectible bobbleheads of team legend Jaromir Jagr to those in attendance.

One problem: The bobbleheads are missing.

A shipment of bobbleheads meant to honor the franchise’s iconic winger was stolen after the cargo arrived in California, the team said, and they will no longer be distributed at Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. The real, life-sized Jagr will attend the game, but fans hoping to receive the mini figurines made in his likeness will have to wait until the stolen goods are found, or a new batch of bobbleheads is produced.

The Penguins are working with local and federal authorities on the investigation, Penguins president of business operations Kevin Acklin said. The team learned of the cargo theft after the bobbleheads did not arrive as scheduled.

All fans attending the game will get a voucher to exchange for a bobblehead at a later date.

“While this unfortunate incident adds to the legend of Jaromir Jagr, who will be in attendance as our guest at tonight’s game, we look forward to resolving this theft and delivering the prized Jagr bobbleheads to their rightful homes, with our fans,” Acklin said in a statement.

The team did not say how many bobbleheads were produced, but the promotional schedule said every fan would receive one. The hockey capacity of PPG Paints Arena is 18,187.

The bobblehead heist comes amid a trying season for Pittsburgh, which is seventh in the eight-team Metropolitan Division with 65 points in 64 games. The Penguins are on track to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Jagr played in Pittsburgh from 1990 to 2001 and helped the team to consecutive Stanley Cup wins in 1991 and ’92. He’s a two-time world champion, won gold in the 1998 Olympics representing the Czech Republic and sits second behind Wayne Gretzky on the NHL’s all-time points leaderboard with 1,921. The Penguins retired Jagr’s No. 68 in February.

Jagr is in Pittsburgh this week playing in a Mario Lemieux Foundation annual fantasy hockey camp at PPG Paints Arena.

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(Photo: Justin Berl / Getty Images)

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