Wikipedia says: “Jágr is the leading all-time point scorer among active NHL players. He is the most productive European player who has ever played in the NHL and is considered one of the greatest professional hockey players of all time. In 1990, at age 18, he was the youngest player in the NHL. Currently, at age 44, he is the oldest player in the NHL, and is the oldest player to record a hat-trick.”
Early in his career, there was the hockey hair and his contributions to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships for the Penguins in 1990-91 and 1991-92 — his first two seasons in the NHL. He also helped the Czech Republic win Olympic gold in 1998 and the the world championship in 2005. But many around him in those days wondered whether Jagr truly enjoyed the game. He didn’t seem to care about his conditioning, as he does now. He seemed more attracted to the nightlife than the limelight at the rink. The passion you see with players like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, P.K. Subban, Anze Kopitar and Erik Karlsson was missing with Jagr.
At 36, he picked up and went to Russia under mysterious circumstances for three seasons. But you could tell at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver that he yearned for another crack at NHL life. So here we are, three weeks after his 44th birthday, and old No. 68 continues to thrive in the fifth season of his second act in the NHL.
On Monday, in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, the Florida Panthers right wing assisted on a first-period goal from Aleksander Barkov to move past Gordie Howe and into sole possession of third place on the NHL’s all-time points list. Only two men have racked up more NHL points than Jagr’s 1,851: Wayne Gretzky (2,857) and Mark Messier (1,887).
Is Jaromir Jagr the best 43-year-old in pro team sports history? At least his endurance and his love to the hockey are incredible.
New York Times Interview with Jaromir