Jaromir Jagr appears to be the embodiment of that old Aaliyah song “Age Ain’t Nothin’ but a Number.” Though he’s already had his 40th birthday, he continues to perform, leading the Dallas Stars in points and assists, standing second to Michael Ryder for the team lead in goals. He’s also an overtime specialist, having potted 17 goals in extra time over the course of his career to date, an NHL record for an individual player. Counting overtime and regulation, he has a total of 115 game-winning goals, another first-place finish.
That 17th goal in overtime came last night as the Stars snapped a tie with the Edmonton Oilers when Jagr scored about halfway through the bonus period, a place where Edmonton has found itself many times so far this season. Not only did he put up a record for overtime goals, though. With that goal, he moved into the top 10 list for all-time goal scorers in the league.
Jagr is now tied for 10th place with retired Los Angeles Kings great Luc Robitaille at 668 goals. Another ageless still-playing wonder, Teemu Selanne, is not far behind Jagr and has 666 goals to his name right now. His scoring prowess could make this race really interesting and it won’t be resolved until, heaven forbid, the day the two of them decide to hang up the skates.
The top 10 all-time goal scorers list is pretty close in the back end, but if Jagr wants to climb higher, he’ll have to exceed Mario Lemieux‘s 690 goals (ninth place), Steve Yzerman‘s 692 goals (eighth place) and Mark Messier‘s 694 goals (seventh place). It is highly unlikely that he’ll get much higher and, say, unseat Gordie Howe (801 goals, second place) or–and it’s practically hockey blasphemy to suggest this–the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky at 894 goals (first place).
It would be interesting if Jagr did work hard and exceed Lemieux since the two of them were once be-mulleted buddies on the Pittsburgh Penguins of the early 1990s. Only time will tell, but at this rate, definitely expect him to break the tie with Robitaille and at least try to make a bid for ninth.