Connect with us


Former Penguins Star Jagr Gets Huge Honor from IIHF



Jaromir Jagr, IIHF Hall of Fame

While most Pittsburgh Penguins fans were sleeping in the wee hours Sunday morning, former star winger Jaromir Jagr was receiving a huge honor in his homeland.

Jagr was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in Prague in a ceremony held before the IIHF World Championship final between Czechia and Switzerland.

“I’m honored to be here. It’s a huge honor for me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Jagr, who was one of eight men and women inducted Sunday. He made his acceptance speech in English.

The first person Jagr thanked was a former Penguins coach, the late Ivan Hlinka, who was Czech.

“He said, ‘If you want to be great, you have to know the history of your game.’ I remember that very well,” Jagr said. He said he believed that meant young players needed to have idols, and he listed former Penguins teammates Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis and Paul Coffey, as being among his several idols and remembers watching Lemieux and Coffey in the 1987 Canada Cup.

The Worlds just happen to be in Czechia, where Jagr is a larger-than-life megastar on and off the ice. The Kladno native has been seen frequently around the tournament and has posted videos on social media.

Normally, the IIHF Hall of Fame waits until players have been retired for three years to induct them, but they made an exception for Jagr, who at 52 is still playing sparingly for the top-tier pro team he owns in Kladno. He had four assists in 15 games last season.

If he ever retires, Jagr will be a slam dunk for the Hockey Hall of Fame based in Toronto.

Jagr was all over the news in mid-February, when he came to Pittsburgh for Jaromir Jagr Night. His No. 68 was raised to the rafters at PPG Paints Arena during a warm and memorable ceremony. He also practiced with the current Penguins and made a fun video related to the recovery efforts of the stolen shipment of Jagr bobbleheads. (The bobbleheads were later recovered and distributed to fans.)

Jagr, who ranks second all-time in the NHL with 1,921 points, helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup his first two seasons, 1991 and 1992. He played for nine NHL teams over 24 seasons.

Jagr is a member of the so-called triple gold club in hockey. In 1998, he helped the then-Czech Republic to its first Olympic gold medal in hockey. In 2005 and 2010 he helped his country win gold at the IIHF Worlds. And of course he helped the Penguins win the two Stanley Cups.

Below is video of the full IIHF Hall of Fame ceremony. Be aware that only the logo appears for the first two minutes of the hour-long video, and that Jagr is the final inductee.