We may soon have to face the first time in nearly 35 years that Jaromir Jagr is not on a professional hockey roster.
According to the Czech website blesk.cz, Jagr is mulling over the possibility of finally calling it quits. The 50-year-old legend spent 24 seasons in the NHL and has been playing in his hometown team (which he owns), the Kladno Knights, since 2017-18.
Jagr was asked about the possibility of a return, and said at his age, being a pro athlete is a lot harder.
“It’s hard to explain. At my age, playing at any level is challenging. Prepare, motivate. Not to mention the need for rest…” he said.
Jagr has scored 68 points in 109 games over his last five seasons. That’s nowhere near his point totals at his peak in North America, but then again, he’s playing against guys less than half his age.
In the NHL, Jagr put up 766 goals and 1,155 assists for 1,921 total points in 1,733 games played. That puts him No.2 all-time behind some guy named Gretzky.
What’s even wilder is that Jagr took a three-season sabbatical away from the NHL from 2008 to 2011. Had he stuck around in the NHL, he would easily eclipse the 2,000-point mark.
Jagr Demonstrates How To Have A Long Career
In the first part of his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers, Jagr was a dual threat who could find the back of the net just as well as he could set up teammates.
After spending a few years in the KHL, Jagr laced them up with the Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers, and, finally Calgary Flames. Given that he was into his 40s by this point, Jagr adapt his game to rely less on his feet and even more on his playmaking ability.
It doesn’t hurt that Jagr has been a notorious gym freak his entire career, but his hockey IQ is so high that he recognized how to make himself useful when he wasn’t as fast as the new generation of skaters.
Still, even after the NHL, we occasionally get some highlight reel moments out of Jagr. Here he is at 49-yers-old picking up the trash and scoring a greasy goal, then finding twine again with a wraparound.
Just ridiculous stuff.
The second he officially retires, Jagr needs to be put in the Hockey Hall of Fame. No waiting period is required. The guy is the greatest player to ever come out of Europe (and there have been many (and one of the greatest to ever put on skates.
Be sure to give him one of his trademark salutes.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle