NASHVILLE – Dylan Larkin’s earliest memories of Jaromir Jagr are of the 43-year old during his time with the Washington Capitals. The Detroit Red Wings rookie was five-years old during Jagr’s first season in DC. Now, at 19, Larkin found himself playing alongside him during the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.
“It was awesome. What a legend,” Larkin said afterward. “He’s just a great hockey guy. Loves the game. It’s cool to see that. It was great to see how nice of a guy he was as well."
Not only did he get to play with hockey royalty, he assisted on Jagr’s goal during the Atlantic Division’s semifinal win over the Metropolitan Division.
Jagr didn’t want to come to Nashville, but he respected the fan vote, which made him Atlantic Division captain. He would have preferred to be back in Florida working out and getting ready for the second half of the Florida Panthers’ season. And while he had some hesitations about the effects of the 3-on-3 format on his soon-to-be 44-year old body, the experience was worth the trip.
“It was a lot of fun. Even the game was pretty good, actually,” Jagr said. “I was kind of surprised. Defensively everybody wanted to win it. We hate to lose, but if I ever wanted to lose ever I’m glad I lost today because it’s [John Scott] a great story. Everybody thought it’s going to be a bad thing for hockey and it’s turned out to probably be one of the best stories in hockey.”
And despite previous fears, John Scott did not kill him.
Fans-I was afraid,that 3on3 all-Star game may kill me,now,I am more afraid,fighting John Scott 6,8 300 during All-Star, kill me for sure
— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) January 2, 2016
“I’m glad we didn’t have a big lead or otherwise he would jump on me,” Jagr said of the 1-0 loss to Scott's Pacific Division squad in the final. “That’s why we kept it close.”
Playing in his 10th All-Star Game and first since 2004, Jagr reiterated that this was his final one. Instead of being in Los Angeles next January, you’ll likely find him in a rink -- probably in South Florida after he inks another extension with the Panthers-- working out and continuing to prolong an already extraordinary career.
“You never really know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I said it before, I’d like to stay home and practice and get ready for last 30 games, but it was fun, no question about it.”
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