Jagr doesn’t plan to retire after 33rd professional season
Jaromir Jagr said he has no plans to retire after completing his 33rd professional hockey season on Thursday, even though the 49-year-old forward said his skills had diminished.
“I believe I still have it in me,” Jagr said. “It’s just about working hard and trying harder. I have to train harder and avoid gaining weight. You know, I used to score a goal when I wanted to score one. . I’ve been working hard since I was very young. To be able to do it. And suddenly I feel like it’s not possible anymore. “
Jagr, who last played in the NHL with the Calgary Flames in the 2017-18 season, secured an assist for Rytiri Kladno, the team he owns, in a 5-2 win over Dukla Jihlava in the seventh game of the Chance Liga final. Kladno won the second tier league and will be promoted to the Czech Extraliga, the best Czech league, next season.
“The main reason I still play is my responsibility to the club,” Jagr said. “If I didn’t have one, I wouldn’t be flying on the ice here. Because I embarrass myself there, I can tell.
Jagr has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 19 regular season games with Kladno this season and 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 16 playoff games.
“I expect a lot more from myself and I haven’t,” he said. “But I am aware that when I leave, many (business) partners will also be leaving the team. That is why I have no choice.”
Jagr previously said he plans to play for Kladno next season, promising to participate in the series of outdoor games at Spindleruv mlyn in the Czech Republic, which have been postponed from December 2020 to December 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. -19.
“I can’t stop. We have a [outdoor game] sold out, “Jagr said.” But honestly I know I have to be a lot better. I want to improve myself to help my team. … What I know for sure is that I will do everything I can to help my club. “
Jagr made his professional debut for Kladno in the Czech league in 1988-89 and played 24 seasons in the NHL, starting with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990-91. He also played in the Continental Hockey League.
No.5 pick in the 1990 NHL Draft, Jagr is first in NHL history in winning goals (135), second in points (1921), third in goals (766), fourth in games (1733) and fifth for assists. (1155) and Stanley Cup playoff points (201).
He won the Stanley Cup twice with the Penguins (1991, 1992) and the Hart Trophy was voted NHL MVP in 1998-99. He led the NHL in scoring five times (1994-95, 1997-2001) and was named NHL First Team All-Star seven times (1994-96, 1997-2001, 2005-06).