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Is Jaromir Jagr Finally Retiring? ‘I Don’t Have the Motivation’



Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr

He was once a smiling, happy rookie with a short mullet. Jaromir Jagr, who is now 50 years old, may have played his last professional hockey game.

In a wide-ranging interview with iSport, Jagr strongly suggested his career is over. PHN would like to credit colleague George Richards of Florida Hockey Now for finding this story and iSport reporter Miroslav Horák.

It’s been more than 30 years since Jagr sandbagged interviews with NHL teams so that the Pittsburgh Penguins could draft him fifth overall and he could play with his idol, Mario Lemieux. The 1990 draft predated the Penguins’ first Stanley Cup, of which Jagr was an important part, and was on the heels of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, which opened the crumbling communist bloc, including Czechoslavakia (now Czechia) to the world.

It’s been 32 years since the Penguins drafted Jagr and 24 years since an injured Jagr saved the franchise with heroic performance in Games 6 and 7 in the first round of the 1998 playoffs. The Penguins rallied to beat the superior New Jersey Devils, thus gaining franchise-sustaining revenues.

It’s been 21 years since the Penguins and Jagr split up.

The Penguins received three prospects who never made an impact in the NHL and millions in cash to pay bills by trading Jagr to the Washington Capitals in the summer of 2001.

It’s been nearly five years since Jagr last played an NHL game. He made one last go with the Calgary Flames in 2017-18. And now it appears Jagr, who turns 51 in February, may finally retire.

The ageless wonder says he has lost the drive to keep going. He owns Kladno of the Czech league and has played to help keep the team afloat, but all good things must end.

It seems the demands of running a team, the stresses of business, and age have caught up with “the great Jagr.” He said he would have to “force himself to play” if he returned.

His Czech team may hold an outdoor Winter Classic game, which could pull Jagr back, but he doesn’t sound enthusiastic.

“To be honest, I don’t even want to go back. If the Winter Classic I promised were held, I’d probably have to force myself to go play. Otherwise, it doesn’t pull me back.” Jagr said. “Actually, I don’t have the motivation. I don’t feel like it. … I’ll see how it goes with the Winter Classic. Maybe I’d get a kick out of it, but I don’t even feel like it at the moment.”

Jagr played his first 11 NHL seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He won two Stanley Cups, five Art Ross trophies, two Ted Lindsay awards, and one Hart trophy during his Penguins tenure.

He also played with the Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, and Calgary. In 1,733career games, he scored 1,921 points, including 766 goals. He is the second all-time leading scorer in the NHL, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (2,857) and is fourth in goals.

Jaromir Jagr is not yet in the Penguins’ Ring of Honor nor the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Vince Gori
Vince Gori
1 month ago

May be finally time to do a ceremonial one day contract to retire him as a Pen, raise 68 to the rafters and get him to the HOF where he belongs! Let’s do it!

1 month ago

68 in the rafters is looooooong overdue!

1 month ago

If I’m not mistaken, he was in the Ring of Honor. They took him off when he continued to play for other NHL teams, to be put back in when he retires.