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Jaromir Jagr, Ageless Wonder

Photo by Mark J. Terrill, AP Photo

Entering his 24th season with his ninth NHL team, the Czech superstar continues to amaze.

Forward Jaromir Jagr has played his first games with the Calgary Flames after signing a one-year, one million dollar contract with the team for the duration of the season. Although he didn’t register a shot on goal in his debut, and had less than 14 minutes of ice time, it was just one game, a 4-3 overtime victory. He later had an assist in his third game, and his legend still continues to grow as a league superstar. 

Jagr, who currently has 765 goals and 1,915 points, sits second all-time in number of points scored, third in number of goals scored, fifth in number of assists and fourth in number of games played with 1,713, although he needs to suit up for only 55 more games to surpass Gordie Howe for the number one spot on that list. He ranks fifth for career playoff points with 201, including 78 goals, and in the regular season, he has the most overtime goals in league history. 

He also has captured five Art Ross Trophies for leading the league in points during a season, and two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992. 

At 45, and at the dawn of his 24th NHL season, Jagr still serves as an inspiration for fans and players alike. New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said in a February 2017 interview that Jagr is “one of the best players to ever play the game, but he still works on his game every day. He works on his physique. There’s always something, and to be able to do that mentally, you need to love it. That’s why you play, because you love it.”

Jagr is akin to a folk hero in his native Czech Republic; as Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek noted in a March 2016 interview, “Jagr’s legacy is part of my generation and the young kids that are five years old right now. They still watch him play. It’s amazing. His legacy, he’s done so much for Czech Republic as a country. I’ve always said that if Jagr ever ran for president in the Czech Republic, he’d win it. And it might happen after he retires. Wouldn’t surprise me if he did.”

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(Photo by Justin Pennell, CBC)

Representing his home country, Jagr won a gold medal in the 1998 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics. He has also been the recipient of the Golden Hockey Stick, an award presented to the top Czech ice hockey player worldwide, a record twelve times. 

His fan club extends beyond the Czech borders, as a Calgary-based group known as the Traveling Jagrs was formed by a group of hockey fans who all sport mullets in emulation of their favorite player. The group has spent the last several years traveling to many of Jagr’s games, and the legend himself recently paid a visit to greet them during an interview.

Jagr’s second game with the Flames, and his first in Calgary as a member of the home team, wasn’t quite the homecoming the Traveling Jagrs or any other fans might have hoped for. The Flames were extinguished by the visiting Ottawa Senators 6-0. His third game, however, a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, featured an assist on Johnny Gaudreau’s goal, his first point with his newest team.

And finally, with his signing and debut with his first Canadian team, Jagr can finally make good on a promise to his cat:

Edited by Kat Johansen, Vincent Choy.

How many games did Wayne Gretzky's brother Brett play in his first NHL season?
Created 10/13/17
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