The man is a legend. As the oldest current player in the NHL at 45 years old, Jaromir Jagr has had a phenomenal, record-breaking career.
The man’s name is painting the record books. He is top-five in the categories of regular season goals, OT goals, game-winning goals and games played.
He is classified right alongside the most elite like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, who aren’t bad company to keep.
THE LAST TWO SEASONS
Jagr’s 2015-16 season was an incredibly impressive one. It would be an impressive one for any player in the NHL, let alone someone his age. With 27 goals and 39 assists, Jagr was a force to be reckoned with. As the Florida Panthers’ scoring leader, they were forced to re-sign Jagr even with his age in question.
The next season saw a slight decline in production for Jagr, going down to 16 goals and 30 assists. By no means are those embarrassing figures, but perhaps the Panthers saw this as the beginning of the end for Jagr.
Postseason Jagr found himself in free agency with limited interest from teams, and no offer from the Panthers.
On Oct. 4, 2017, Jagr signed a one-year deal with his first ever Canadian NHL team, the Calgary Flames.
The young Flames really seemed like they could use the guidance of a seasoned NHL veteran like Jagr. Sure they have Mark Giordano and Matt Stajan, but they don’t quite fit in with the company Jagr keeps.
It’s safe to say that Flames fans and players were excited to see a legend come to Calgary.
“He’s one of the best to ever play the game. We’re getting a legend,” Michael Frolik said, according to ESPN.
Coach Glen Gulutzan said that Jagr’s hockey IQ was through the roof and would bring a lot to the team.
He even had a fan club based in Alberta called “The Traveling Jagrs.” Considering that they started the fan club before Jagr came to Calgary, they were pretty excited about the signing. (Video from Sportsnet)
Unfortunately, the excitement was short-lived. Jagr’s numbers have plummeted during his time with the Flames. He’s been hindered by injuries likely due to age, which have caused him to miss many games this season.
With only one goal and six assists this season, it seems as though Jagr’s hopes of playing in the NHL until he is 50 are being quickly stripped away.
The Flames have now gone into talks about working on an exit strategy for Jagr. It is unsure at this time whether or not Jagr is in agreement with the Flames, but only time will tell.
IS IT HIS TIME
As a hockey fan and lover of all great legends, I would really hate to see Jagr go. Just purely because it is going to be so sad to see an end of an era.
As a reasonable human being and former athlete myself, I say it is time. To play any sport until nearly 50 years old takes a major toll on the body. To play hockey specifically until that age is a feat of immortals. Well, almost.
Jagr had two pretty stellar years before this one, so it is likely no one will even remember this season should he choose to end it here.
I would hate for him to go out like Chris Chelios and just battle a little too long to stay in the big leagues. Granted, nothing will take away Jagr’s accomplishments, not even one or two bad seasons.
The NHL will surely miss his presence as will the young Flames, at least from the hockey knowledge perspective. But I don’t think that Jagr has much time left in the NHL, if any at all.
Featured image from SB Nation
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