Jaromir Jagr was born 41 years ago today.
No player in the League who’s honest, or fan who’s rational, would ever question the greatness that this Czechoslovakian native has achieved during his now-fabled career.
He was in his late 20s when the Penguins dealt him to the Washington Capitals. During his third season with the “Caps”, he was traded to the New York Rangers. If Jagr had never played another game in the NHL, he still would have earned easy induction into the Hall of Fame.
Jagr left Broadway and North America behind after the 2007-08 season. He played in the Kontinental Hockey League for three years before Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren took a risk and offered him a one-year contract in July 2011.
“Homer’s” gamble paid off, as one of the great power forwards of all-time produced a fine season on the ice and served as a positive locker room example for his young teammates. Of course everyone, including Stars’ teammate Ray Whitney, can be referred to as a “younger” colleague at this point.
Playing into his nineteenth NHL season, Jagr ranks eighth on the all-time scoring leader board. His 1,664 regular season points (669 goals, 995 assists) place him behind former Penguins’ teammate Mario Lemieux’s career total of 1,723. Due to the lockout shortened season, it’s unlikely that he’ll overtake number 66 this year.
But, there’s an even more intriguing comparison to be made regarding Mr. Jagr: Gordie Howe, who will always be known as “Mr. Hockey”, is the only right wing in the history of the game who has more points (1,850: 801 goals, 1,049 assists) than the birthday boy.
All hail one of the greatest hockey players of all-time as he celebrates 41 years on this planet.