Jaromir Jagr, who will turn 46 next month, could be nearing the end. Talk of playing until he was 50 has been replaced with injuries, ineffectiveness, and questions about his role with the Calgary Flames. It appears time has finally caught up with hockey’s Peter Pan.
Jagr has played only 22 of 37 games this season. He is pointless in his last seven games and has no goals in his last 15 games. Overall, he has one goal and six assists, this season. Questions surround not only his production but his place on the team.
Lots of speculation on the future of Jaromir Jagr with CGY. Hobbled by injury, unable to get a defined role, rumours abound but, for now anyway, my understanding is no declarations are imminent. There has been and will continue to be dialogue between Jagr and CGY.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 5, 2018
McKenzie also Tweeted the Flames and Jagr have an agreement if the situation isn’t working for either side the contract can be mutually terminated. Jagr signed a one year tender with the Flames, valued at $1 million. During his 22 year NHL career, Jagr has earned over $135 million. That figure does not count his KHL earnings from 2009-2011.
Jagr was the Penguins first draft choice in 1990, fifth overall. Penguins GM Craig Patrick was the only General Manager confident he could free Jagr from Czechoslovakia. As it turns out, Jagr may have embellished his obligations to his home country in order to play with Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Penguins fans, who consumed every piece of Jagr merchandise from fake mullets (OK, some were fake) to peanut butter, certainly didn’t mind. Jagr won two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, in 1991 and 1992.
The flamboyant Jagr had a hard time getting a contract this season. He was forced to wait until October, just two days before the start of the season to ink a deal with Calgary. So, it’s unlikely another team will take a shot, and unknown if Jagr would want another shot elsewhere.
In 1733 games, he has scored 766 goals and 1921 points. He trails only Wayne Gretzky (2857), all-time. He won five Art Ross trophies, one Hart trophy (1998-99), and won a gold medal with the Czech Republic in 1998.
If he does retire, fanbases around the NHL will pay tribute. Perhaps Jagr fandom is the only thing which could unite Philadelphia Flyers fans and Penguins fans. Now that’s a testament to a great player.