The Pittsburgh Penguins turn 50 years old this season, and that means celebrating the storied past of the franchise. One of the biggest moments in Penguins history was the 1991-92 Stanley Cup championship team.
On Monday, the gang got back together to be officially recognized by the franchise. All of the players were there except arguably the biggest name on that team, forward Jaromir Jagr.
The boys are back in town.
You see, the 44-year-old ageless wonder is still tearing up the NHL with the Florida Panthers these days. Not surprisingly, he was absent from the celebration due to a prior engagement… a.k.a. playing a game with the Panthers.
Fans noticed his absence, but it seems they don’t believe a member of a team that won a Stanley Cup 25 years ago could still be playing.
The Penguins put any conspiracy theories to rest quickly though, with this easy response via Twitter:
@Tristan71 Playin' hockey.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 4, 2016
Oh, and lest you think Jagr still playing is some novelty act, he earned All-Star honors last season and is doing just fine this year as well. He had 12 points in 25 games going in to last night, and fittingly, he netted a goal last night for his 13th point in an overtime loss to the Boston Bruins.
Jagr has now that he has played in a whopping 1,655 NHL games over the course of his 22 years in the league (he wasn’t in the NHL for a few years). The most amazing thing is to think of all the players that have come and gone during his career.
Like Eric Lindros. Or Dany Heatley and Rick DiPietro, who were drafted in 2000 and have moved on from NHL careers as well. It is simply amazing to think that Jagr has not only outlasted, but outplayed some prominent players for more than two decades.
Heck, with over 1,600 games to his name, it may be time to start talking about Jagr seriously contending for the all-time games played record (1,767) held by the great Gordie Howe. Playing with the results that Jagr is posting, it may not take but another two seasons to get to that crazy level.
Perhaps the next time the Penguins honor the Stanley Cup champions, Jagr will have actually retired… maybe.