Jaromir Jagr is truly a special player, and there’s no one quite like him. He played his first season in the NHL in the early 90s, as he arrived from Czech as a young kid who didn’t speak English. The Penguins placed him in a school to learn his new language, but after four weeks, he dropped off. He just wanted to focus on hockey, and well, it went pretty well.
Despite making his debut in the NHL over 30 years ago, Jagr is still playing. He’s a true icon of the game, and nobody loves hockey as much as Jagr does. Last week, he played his first game in over 200 days for Kladno in the Czech first-tier league. He recorded two assists in almost 15 minutes on the ice.
Jagr won the Stanley Cup in his only second year in the NHL and was a huge contributing factor to it. He scored more points than he had played games in the playoffs and got his big breakthrough in that campaign. Jagr is still a cult player for the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he played most of his years with Mario Lemieux. Jagr even got the nickname Mario Jr.
When the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 1991 and 1992 teams had a big 25th-anniversary Stanley Cup reunion back in 2016, almost everyone was there. The teams won back-to-back Stanley Cups, and over 30 players took part in the celebration.
But one important former player was missing.
Jaromir Jagr couldn’t attend the celebrations. Why? He was in Ottawa, playing for the Florida Panthers.
The Penguins were disappointed Jagr couldn’t make it, but they excused his absence with some great jokes on social media. If this isn’t the most Jaromir Jagr story ever, we don’t know what is.
Jaromir Jagr wasn’t the former Pens player to miss the celebrations. Ron Francis was the Carolina Hurricanes’ general manager at the time, and Joe Mullen was an assistant coach at the Flyers. But Jagr, 44 at the time, actually still played. That’s just crazy!