The ageless wonder has just finished his twenty-second NHL season, and has done a lot in almost a quarter of a century. He’s securing a staggering 749 goals, 1,119 assists and a total of 1,868 points, where’s he’s currently active in third place for most points in a career.
Jagr has been phenomenal during the 2015-16′ season, scoring 27 goals and 39 assists for 66 points, which is absolutely incredible considering he’s 44 years old. He played in the allstar game which had a 3-3 format, and seemingly played better than some of the kids, considering he’s decades older.
The 5-time Art Ross Trophy winner has had the spotlight on him all season. He led his Florida Panthers to win the Atlantic division title and passed Gordie Howe for most points in a career, just 31 points behind Mark Messier and 1,001 behind Wayne Gretzky. He’s brought a sense of nostalgia, and every time you see him down the ice brings a sense of late 80’s-90’s hockey into old hockey fans.
Many fans were hoping that the legend would be able to lift lord Stanley This season, but came short due to a John Tavares overtime goal in game six of the NHL’s eastern quarterfinals to defeat the Panthers. He had two assists in six games of the series, and wasn’t a top player–which lead to the loss, as he’s now scoreless in 37 straight playoff games.
As a UFA this offseason, many hockey fans are wondering what is next for Jagr. Where will he go? What will he do? The answer is pretty simple. He’s going to keep playing, and his career is most likely going to stay with the Florida Panthers.
” I know I can play to 50,” said Jagr to reporter Chris Johnson, he continued, ” i’m going to play in the (NHL) until I’m 50.” He seemed to laugh and shake off speculation of early retirement by stating, “maybe tomorrow I will get hit by a bus, no one knows.” It’s quite clear the legend isn’t done yet, knowing he’s 31 points away from passing Messier, and he’s carried by the seasons he lost while in the KHL.
Many fans are wondering if he’ll leave Florida and play for a ‘Cup contending team, but it’s not likely. The Panthers just came off of the best season since their franchise came to existence with a 47-26-9 record, as well as the Atlantic division title. He’s got a great group of Roberto Luongo, Jonathan Huberdeau, Teddy Purcell, Josi Jokinen, Alexsander Barkov, and Aaroj Ekblad. This season wasn’t a fluke, as they’ll be out for blood next season.
“There were a lot of guys who received Their first playoff experience, and playoff hockey is different.” Said Jagr after the game six loss. “We can learn from that being we have so many young guys. Sometimes you need to lose that way to win it next year.”
As you can tell, he used the frase “we” a lot, and seems to have confidence with this young group. After all Dave Tallon has a lot of success with younger guys, and will be looking at Jagr to lead them once again if he can sign another deal, which is likely to happen. We’ll just have to wait for his word this coming summer.
–follow me on Twitter for great NHL analysis and insight @Johnaubert97