It’s official. Jaromir Jagr is no longer in the National Hockey League. The 45-year old legend has been assigned to Kladno of the Czech league after clearing waivers earlier today. Though he remains technically part of the Calgary Flames organization, it seems unlikely that he will make a return to the NHL this season. Jagr issued a statement to the fans and organization:
I want to thank Brad Treliving and the Calgary Flames for giving me the immense opportunity to be a part of their team and continue my NHL career this season. Although I am very disappointed that things did not turn out as we had hoped due to a number of circumstances, I am deeply grateful to the Flames, the fans and the City of Calgary for having welcomed me so generously. I now look forward to continuing the season in Kladno.
If this is the end of Jagr’s NHL career, he’ll finish among the very best that have ever played the game. He ranks third all-time in goals, fifth in assists, second in points and third in games played. He collected a Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1999, and was a five-time league scoring champion. In 208 career playoff games, Jagr recorded 201 points and lifted the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two seasons of his career. Though he was a threat on the powerplay, an incredible 538 of his 766 goals came at even-strength.
Playing for his ninth team in Calgary, he recorded just seven points in 22 games and never fit into their structure after missing all of training camp. Though there remains a possibility that he could return for the playoffs, it is more likely that he’ll retire to the Czech league where he actually owns Kladno. Whether he attempts a comeback in the summer after his current contract expires is unclear, but if he’s played his last game he’ll be remembered as one of the best and most interesting players to ever suit up in the NHL.
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