2024-02-21 · 2 min read · NHL/Hockey
Former NHL player Jaromir Jagr

Scott Levy/Getty Images | Gene Puskar/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Penguins retired the legendary Jaromir Jagr number the other day, which got me thinking about his otherworldly career and character. His retirement speech itself is fantastic, full of jokes and emotions. As a result of this, it seemed like a great time to take a moment to appreciate this giant of the game.
Looking briefly at his statistical prowess, Jágr sits second in NHL career regular season points and is sixth in career playoff points. He is also amongst the career leaders in several other major NHL regular season statistical categories: goals (4th), assists (5th), games played (4th), overtime goals (T-2nd), game-winning goals (1st), even-strength goals (3rd), power-play goals (T-11th), points per game (20th) and shots on goal (3rd). Also amongst all-time leaders in NHL playoff statistical categories, Jagr ranks in the top 20 in points (6th), goals (11th), assists (10th), overtime goals (T-6th), game-winning goals (10th), games played (T-15th), power-play goals (T-19th) and shots on goal (6th). On the awards side Jagr has, two Stanley Cups, five Art Rosses, three Lester’s (now Lindsay’s) among many more accolades that I could fill a whole page.
It's not just his pre-eminence off the ice but also his personality off of it. Even at 52 the look on Jagr’s face, the subtle catch in his voice, the smile that remains boyish even at his retirement ceremony says a lot. No matter where the NHL’s second all-time leading scorer has gone during a professional odyssey that’s spanned 30-plus years and three continents, Jagr has long understood who he is. Even in a career that started in 1990 with him as a teenager from eastern Europe shrouded in mystery, sporting a mullet that became his trademark and the kind of prodigious talent that eventually made him one of the game’s all-time greats; his character growth and later on his ability to remain so good as he aged always drew much interest.
Speaking of him ageing like a fine wine I have to point out that having played in 37 professional seasons and over 2,000 professional games, Jagr has had the longest playing career in professional ice hockey history. On top of this he is easily the most productive European player who has ever played in the NHL and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Words can only say so much so I'll use some of my last to instead show you that Jagr has one of the NHL’s all time highlight tapes, go ahead give that a click its worth it. Simply put Jagr had a love, ability and will for the game that few people could ever possess.
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By: Chase Howard


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