If you’re like me and grew up in the 1990s, chances are you are about as shocked as anyone to see Jaromir Jagr still playing NHL-level hockey. After all, he is the only player still left from your copy of the classic video game, ‘NHL ’94’.
Jagr, the seemingly ageless wonder, proved he still belonged in the league with a crazy 2015-16 season for the Florida Panthers. The combination of his age and production was apparently enough for him to be recognized as the 2016 Bill Masterton Trophy award winner during Wednesday night’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
It’s a trophy given annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association after each team nominates one player in competition.
There’s no doubt Jagr is dedicated to the sport, and in 2015-16 he persevered in a big way at the age of 44. He had a year most forwards would kill for, and led the Florida Panthers in scoring with 27 goals, 39 assists, and 66 points. It was no small feat, as Jagr became the oldest player to ever tally 60 points in a single season and led the Panthers to their greatest point total in a season, along with just their second division title in club history.
Jagr beat out Pascal Dupuis of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers for the award.
There will be a $2,500 donation to the Bill Masterton scholarship fund in the award winner’s name as well, courtesy of the PHWA.