PRAGUE–Jaromir Jagr was seen at an airport recently–but it was in the Czech Republic Friday and not in Ottawa a week ago. So much for all that daydreaming by Senators and Jagr fans.
A return to the Czech Republic is a big event and well documented by media and fas. Something was missing as he posed with his countrymen at the airport, and it wasn’t just an NHL contract.
This picture and more can be found at this link from isport.cz. For those who do not read Czech, a browser translator function can help you get the gist of Jagr’s return home, where he is as close to royalty as any person in any country. This is the first of several articles from the Czech Republic, awkward translations and all.
This photo taken after a recent practice with Kladno, shows the hair has been reigned in and not completely chopped, as Mullet fans might fear from the above photos.
They had other articles on Jagr including him discussing the surprising end of his time in Florida. The link also includes some video of him working out with the players in training for Kladno, the team he owns just in case readers need some fresh Jagr video.
The Czech news outlet also debated some destinations for the Legend, mentioning the KHL if the price is right, though Jagr is most interested in the NHL and has a few talks in progress. Perhaps the announcement of arbitration awards will lead to opportunities for Jagr and other notable free agents like Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and Alexei Markov.
Another article that translates poorly but worth reading
Even the Finnish Flash Teemu Selanne whose long NHL began after Jagr’s started and finished a few seasons back, weighed in on Jagr and his longevity, offering the rare personal perspective of how hard it is to play in the league at age 44.
So where will Jagr play this season? The frenzy for the NHL’s off-season game of musical chairs has slowed while Jagr waits to see which NHL lockeroom will have his stool perched n front of a stall or stalls when the season starts. While his fans on both sides of either side of two oceans are very concerned, player Jagr and agent Petr Svoboda patiently play the game, awaiting a contract that rings true to their mutual benefit.
Jagr’s 46-point effort last season, while low for him, still was fourth on the Panthers and still would have qualified him as no worse than the fifth leading scorer on nearly all of the NHL’s other 29 teams last season. The skill and brains more than make up for his greatly exaggerated lost speed and the output warrants first or second line duty no matter how you slice it.
For Jagr’s potential even at this stage of his career, he wants to be paid like a player who is expected to produce and gets top 6 forward pay for top 6 forward play. He is not looking for one payday to ride off into the sunset. Jagr wants this contract and the next one, and the one after that.
At this point, Jagr shouldn’t play for peanuts and hope he can play his way back to the first or second line and give a new team the contract steal of the free agency season. In the last four seasons Jagr led a struggling New Jersey team with 67 points in 2013-14 and the season before last was the top point producer on a 103-point division leader
Another worthwhile article highlighting how the world has changed since the start of Jagr’s career.
The Jagr-O-Meter and jagrometer.com are prepared by Ray Haluska, a one-time reporter who covered the first few years of Jagr’s career. Comments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, @CruisingRay on twitter or the comments box on this page.