The Jaromir Jagr Watch continues, as the hockey world wonders what a winger who had 46 points in 82 games last season needs to do to get an NHL job other than “not be 45 years old.”
In an interview with Czech TV, Jagr made it clear that he wants to return to the NHL, and that remains the priority. “I love hockey in the NHL, so I’m able to wait, how many people would give everything to NHL at least one match?,” he said. “I’m so fond of everything around the NHL that I want to extend my career there.”
But if there’s no NHL team offering a contract, then there’s no return to the NHL. So Jagr said there are a couple of options for next season, without an NHL deal: Signing with a European league team with an out clause to return to the NHL during the 2017-18 season if the offer arrives; or “stay in Kladno and focus on training and see how I feel.”
If he plays in Europe, or if he trains in Europe, Jagr told CT-4 that there’s another option on the table, too:
Playing for the Czech Republic at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Please recall that the NHL is not sending players to these Olympics, as any player under NHL contract is restricted from representing their respective countries. Jagr, not having an NHL contract and all, would be eligible.
Please also recall that around the 2014 Sochi Games, Jagr said that playing for the 2018 national team wasn’t out of the question. “I understand that. It’s funny, but don’t forget that by then I’ll be playing in Europe on the big ice and there probably won’t be NHL players,” Jagr said back in 2013. “I would have to stay healthy and I would have to have the same desire.”
(This has been a reading from the prophet Jaromir…)
Again, the priority remains the NHL. But the possibility is there that the Czech national team might have a hockey deity on the ice against the collections of kids and journeymen from other hockey nations, which obviously makes them gold medal favorites. Unless, like, Teemu plays for Finland.
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