Today could be called the end of an era, but in this case, it's probably the end of about five or six eras.
It’s a sad, but inevitable day for hockey fans, as it sure looks like Jaromir Jagr has played his last game in the NHL. The Calgary Flames announced today that they’re assigning him to HC Kladno in the Czech Republic for the remainder of the season.
While he’s pulled the “going to Europe only to return a few seasons later” move in the past, it certainly seems like this is the end of the road in North America for the 45-year-old. Let’s take a look back at some of the crazier stats from one of the league’s most legendary figures.
With Jagr’s departure, there are just five players left in the league from the 90’s. Of course, Jagr debuted all the way back in 1990-91.
Since his debut, the league has seen the addition of the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild and Vegas Golden Knights. That’s right, he pre-dates more than a third of the league’s franchises.
His last foray into Europe was a three-year stint in the KHL – his age 36, 37 and 38 seasons – which he credits for reviving his love in the game and keeping him going. The fact that he came back to the game’s top league at 39 and played nearly five more seasons is a testament to his conditioning, which is the stuff of legend. From ankle weights on his skates to midnight post-game skates and more or less living in the weight room during the season, Jagr’s routine has been among the game’s toughest for years.
The post-KHL Jaromir Jagr, from ages 39 to 45: 460 games played, 120-202-324, 48 power play goals and 17:20 average ice time. That’s 58-point pace over a full season at an age where most normal adults have trouble getting out of bed.
Even after spending three years overseas, he was able to climb into second place all-time in points (1921), third in goals (766) and games played (1733) and fifth in assists (1155). Had he played a full season this year, he would have slid past Gordie Howe in games played, for the all-time lead.
As the league’s oldest player, he had arguably the best social media presence out of any player. Here’s proof:
Look, I just tell my cat, there is a chance to play in NHL this year. pic.twitter.com/8iBoTYeEl7— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) October 1, 2017
Oh yeah, and that team he’s going to in the Czech Republic? Guess who owns it?
That’s right. Jaromir Jagr.
Stick taps to the legend. He was everyone's favorite player, even his own.