Jagr feels compelled to keep playing for Kladno as he approaches 50: report
Jaromir Jagr has said he feels compelled to continue playing for the team he owns in the Czech Republic, even though the former NHL forward admits his skills are dwindling as he approaches his 50th birthday.
“Do you know why I always play? Jagr told The Hockey News in comments posted Wednesday. “I have a responsibility to the club, otherwise I wouldn’t fly here and make a fool of myself. But if I quit the partners and sponsors would leave and the club could be finished. I have no choice. people don’t understand it, but I don’t care. Only God will judge me. I expect a lot more from myself, and I also believe that I have it in me.
Jagr took over from his father, also named Jaromir, as the majority owner of Kladno, in 2011.
He finished his 33rd professional season and helped him move from the second division Chance Liga to the Czech Extraliga, the best Czech league. Jagr has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 19 regular season games and 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 16 playoff games.
He will be 50 years old on February 15, 2022.
“It’s not easy, trust me,” Jagr said. “Because most of the time in my career, I felt that if I wanted to score a goal, I would. But suddenly it doesn’t work. …
“At the same time, people always expect it from me, and that’s probably the worst feeling, when people think I can but I know I can’t. Besides, I can’t even tell them. I just know that I will do my best to help the club. I don’t know if anyone can understand my role. I don’t even want to be in such a position, but I have no choice. my dad is breathing, I take the club as my responsibility. He held it for 20 years. As a son, I would be embarrassed if I left.
Jagr last played in the NHL for the Calgary Flames in the 2017-18 season. He made his professional debut for Kladno 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.
Selected by Pittsburgh with the 5th pick in the NHL Draft in 1990, Jagr is first in NHL history in winning goals (135), second in points (1,921), third in goals ( 766), fourth in games played (1,733), fifth in assists (1,155) and fifth in Stanley Cup playoff points (201).
Jagr won the Stanley Cup twice with the Penguins (1991, 1992) and the Hart Trophy was named NHL MVP in 1998-99. He was the NHL’s leading scorer five times (1994-95, 1997-2001) and was named to the NHL First Team All-Star seven times (1994-96, 1997-2001, 2005-06) .
“We make jokes that he’s still playing,” said teammate and former NHL forward Tomas Plekanec. “But we don’t have to talk about it. No one can expect him to be a top player, but he’s still good on the power play. He can find his role and his place. I wouldn’t be. not surprised if he played another two or three years. “