On January 29, 2018 Jaromir Jagr cleared unconditional waivers after being placed on there the day before by his team the Calgary Flames. While Jagr had hoped to be claimed and continue his NHL career it will appear that his next appearance will be for the KHL team HC Kladno (a team which he part owns). Since Jagr wasn’t claimed the Flames do still own his NHL rights through the end of the season and could bring him back potentially later in the season. It seems unlikely, Jagr turns 46 this month and in the last season and a half it would appear the speed of the NHL has finally caught up with his ability to produce.
But what a career he had! As recently as just two seasons ago Jagr had continued to produce at an incredibly high level (contributing 66 points while providing veteran leadership to a young and upstart Florida Panthers squad). Over the past quarter century though Jagr produced one of the most impressive Hall of Fame resume’s of recent years. He won the Hart Trophy as league MVP once as well as five Art Ross trophies for leading the NHL in points. If this is indeed his last hurrah in the NHL, he finishes 3rd all time in goal scoring (behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe), 5th in assists (behind Gretzky, Ron Francis, Mark Messier, and Ray Bourque), 1st in game-winning goals and among the top 5 in various other categories.
His training regimen in recent years had become the stuff of legend. According to a 2016 article, he was reportedly doing 1,000 squats per day (which he said he’d been doing since the age of 7). When joining a new team he’d request his own key for the practice facility and spend nights doing 30 second sprints on the ice while wearing a 35 pound weighted jacket (and finish the sprints with a series of one timers). One minute interval sprints on a bike until he was physically incapable of continuing. And it worked well til this year so hey, who can argue with results? When it gets to the point that you’re playing with players who weren’t born til after your career started, you need to keep up however you can.
The most amusing Jagr factoid though (for me) is the fan club he inspired. The Traveling Jagrs. A Calgary based group of fans, when the group attended a game each would don a jersey from one of Jagr’s career stops (the Flames were his 9th NHL team and at least one member would wear a jersey from his overseas club) and wearing a mullet wig. The group was overjoyed when Jagr signed with their hometown Flames and were even more thrilled when their hero presented them with a Flames jersey for their (at the time TBD) newest member.
Anyway, that’s enough me nerding out about sport stuff. Go do your shitposting now.