Ex-Penguin (heck, just about ex-every team) JAROMIR JAGR turned 45 yesterday, and celebrated by getting career point No. 1,900. Sidney Crosby is only 901 points behind. By no means am I dismissing Sid’s chances.
We go down memory lane whenever Jagr has a birthday or hits a milestone. But after so many years and accomplishments, I’m out of memories. Jagr has had an amazing career. That he’s still playing is even more amazing.
Jagr’s Florida Panthers are three points out of a playoff spot. If the Panthers fall further adrift, what will they do with Jagr?
Jagr has a respectable 32 points in 55 games. (At 45, he has played every game.) Will Jagr be a rental for a contender? What’s his value? I don’t know.
I also don’t know if Jagr will be back in the NHL next year. The league is under no obligation to let him play indefinitely. Jagr is still productive, but he’s making $4 million. Today’s NHL is younger and cheaper.
Jagr’s primary trademark is strength. He dangles. He’s precise. He skates well. He has a high hockey IQ. But when I saw Jagr at 18, you couldn’t knock him off the puck. Now, at 45, you still can’t.