Jaromir Jagr is soon 51 but refuses to quit hockey. The living legend still plays in his native Czechia with the club Knadno, for which he’s also the owner. Jaromir Jagr is sure to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as soon as he retires, but when that is, no one really knows.
Jagr hasn’t played in the NHL since 2018, when he played for the Calgary Flames, but he has a special place in most NHL fans’ hearts, and few players are so universally well-liked as Jagr.
But of course, Pittsburgh is special for him, and Jagr is special for Pittsburgh. Jagr was drafted by the Penguins in 1990, and in his just second year in the league, he won the Stanley Cup. The year after that, in 1992, Jagr and the Penguins did it again.
Jagr played with the Penguins until 2001 and served as team captain in his final three years as Mario Lemieux had retired.
The Penguins want to honor Jagr in every way possible. According to Elliotte Friedman’s 32 Thoughts, the Penguins want to retire his No. 68. Phil Bourque, who played with Jagr during the early 90s, was in Czechia recently. On behalf of the Penguins, he asked Jagr if he would be interested in a jersey retirement.
”I wanted to plant that seed with him, that you are loved in Pittsburgh. I just want you to close your eyes for a second and imagine what that night’s going to be like. You know Mario is going to be there. That night of putting number 68 up in the rafters right next to 66,” Bourque said.
Bourque said that it would happen, but not yet. Bourque and Jagr talked about it in December, and Jagr was clear with his thoughts.
”I said, ‘Hey, the Penguins are thinking maybe April. He said, ‘I haven’t retired yet.’ That was his thing, once (he) retired, (he’ll) be all for it.”
Bourque, however, added that Jagr has one wish before the Penguins retire his jersey: For the team to come to Prague and play.
“He said, ‘I would love to have that moment with the team here, do a puck drop, announce my retirement then and maybe a couple weeks later, come back to Pittsburgh and put the jersey in the rafters.’ That’s his vision, his dream.”
What a moment that would be!