Jaromir Jagr is the gift that keeps on giving.
The Florida Panthers announced Jagr is coming back next season, agreeing to a one-year contract with the team.
— Florida Panthers PR (@FlaPanthersPR) May 5, 2016
In the press release announcement, Jagr was praised by management for being an excellent fit and a tremendous influence.
“Jaromir is a Hall of Fame player and had an excellent season playing alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau,” Tallon said. “His track record speaks for itself, ranking third all-time in points and goals. He has been a great fit with our organization and we are excited to have him back for next season.”
“Jaromir has had a tremendous influence on our younger players and has been a key offensive contributor on our team,” Panthers Head Coach Gerard Gallant said. “We are happy to have him back as we look to build off this year’s playoff appearance.”
The 44-year-old was drafted over 25 years ago (!!!) in 1990. Jagr had an excellent season with Florida in 2015-16. He led the improving Panthers squad in scoring with 27 goals and 66 points. The indestructible right-winger hasn’t slowed down in recent years and has said he wants to play until he’s 60. If anybody can accomplish that insane benchmark, it’s Jagr.
While I don’t think Jagr will continue to play until he’s 60, coming back next season gives him a legitimate chance to climb the record book. Jagr is currently third all-time in points behind Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky. While Gretzky’s record of 2,857 points will never be broken, Jagr sits just 19 points behind Messier’s 1,887 career points. If he can stay healthy next season, then he’s going to break that record.
I keep expecting Jagr’s game to crumble, but like a fine wine, he’s getting better with age. The NHL is so much better having him in the league. Hopefully, he can defy the laws of hockey and play another fifteen years.