If Russian Alex Kovalev has joked that he wants to play until the age of 50, then Czech Jaromir Jäger is on the cusp of the feat.
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The former glory of the National Hockey League (NHL), the second-best scorer in history behind Wayne Gretzky, plans to play next season with Kladno in his home country.
To add to the challenge, the 50-year-old will return on February 15, 2022 to Extraliga, where Kladno has been promoted after winning the second division championship. Jagger collected 10 points in 16 matches during the last playoffs.
“We’re kidding he’s still playing,” said his teammate and former Montreal Canadiens striker Thomas Pelicanek in a report this week from The Hockey News. However, there is no need to talk about it. Nobody expects him to be a dominant player, but he’s still pretty good at playing the force. He can find his role, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays another two or three years.”
As already mentioned by the manager in question, Jagr continues to play mainly because of his responsibilities to the club he owns. The striker is afraid of losing sponsors if he quits, remembering that his father, who also goes by the name Yaromir, is the former owner of the Kladno team.
“As long as my father breathes, I take this club under my responsibility, and he for his part recalls in the same report. He managed this team for 20 years. As a son, I would be embarrassed to leave.”
Regarding his snowboard game, Jagger admits he’s slowed down a lot.
“It’s not that easy anymore, believe me,” he noted. For most of my career, I felt that if I wanted to score a goal, I would score. But suddenly it no longer works. I have to train more and pay attention to detail.”
“At the same time, fans still have expectations and that’s probably the hardest part,” Jagger admitted. People still think I can do some things, but I know I can’t. I’m doing my best to help the club.”
In addition to fulfilling his responsibilities at Kladno, Jagr continues to be a great ambassador for hockey around the world. He will also celebrate his 50th birthday during the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.
While he will likely not be on the ice, regardless of whether NHL players are present or not, the famous Czech forward should serve as an ambassador. An announcement to that effect was made in November 2018 after a meeting between Czech President Milos Zeman and a high-ranking Chinese official.
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