It looks like Jaromir Jagr’s amazing NHL career has quietly come to a dead end as the 46-year-old forward currently recovers from a serious knee injury. Jagr became an unrestricted free agent on July 1stafter spending the 2017/18 campaign with the Calgary Flames. He managed just one goal and six assists in 22 outings with his last game coming on New Year’s Eve. Just four weeks later he was placed on the club’s injured reserved list and placed on waivers. There were no takers and Jagr ended up back at home in the Czech Republic with Ryitiri Kladno, a franchise which he just happens to be the majority owner of.
Jagr told the media back in April that he hoped to play in the NHL for a 25th season in 2018/19, but it now appears those hopes are a longshot. He recently stated that his main concern right now is getting 100 per cent healthy and he aims at doing that by working out and playing with Kladno. If Jagr’s NHL career is over, the league will be losing it’s second-highest scorer in history as he currently has 766 goals and 1,155 assists for 1,921 points in 1,733 regular season games. The only players to score more goals were Wayne Gretzky with 894 and Gordie Howe at 801 while Gretzky’s 2,857 points are the most ever accumulated.
In addition, Jagr’s number of games played are third all-time behind Mark Messier’s 1,756 and Howe’s record of 1,767. Jagr holds the mark for the most game-winning goals in history though with 135 and he hoisted the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990/91 and 1991/92 seasons. Individually, he took home the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 1999, led the league in scoring five times and won the Masterton Trophy in 2016 for his perseverance and dedication to hockey.
Jagr, who broke into the NHL in 1990/91, said he’s obviously not the same player he was even 10 years ago, but still feels he can play at a high level this season. His recent practice was the first time he’s been on the ice in the past six months and he admitted he still has a long way to go. Jagr said his knee didn’t bother him, but his muscles and thighs felt weak. He attributes this to his advanced age, but believes he’ll eventually get stronger and in top shape with each passing day. Time may not be on the future Hall of Famer’s side though as Kladno’s campaign faces off on September 8th and the 10-game preseason beginning on July 31st
Jagr signed a one-year deal for a million dollars with Calgary last season and it’s still possible he gets a similar type of offer from an NHL club for 2018/19. However, it likely wouldn’t come until September or October if and when he gets himself into playing shape with kladno. Jagr admits he didn’t play well with the Flames last year, but still believes he can play until he’s 50 years old and would definitely prefer to finish his career somewhere in the NHL.