Jaromir Jagr planning to return for 34th professional season

Sean Leahy
·2 min read

Jaromir Jagr’s Rytíři Kladno earned promotion to the Czech Extraliga after topping HC Dukla Jihlava in Game 7 of the Chance Liga final on Thursday.

Jagr, who will turn 50 in February, played 19 regular season and 16 playoff games for the Knights this season, his 33rd in professional hockey. After helping Kladno’s promotion bid, the No. 5 pick from the 1990 NHL Draft said he has no plans of retiring.

“I believe I still have it in me,” Jagr said via NHL.com. “It is all just about working hard and putting more effort. … You know, I was used to scoring a goal when I wanted to score one. I have been working hard since I was very young to be able to do it. And suddenly I feel it is not possible anymore.”

A well-known workout freak, it’s no surprise Jagr is playing deep into his forties. While he’s not the same force he once was during his NHL days, he still posted 22 points between the regular season and playoffs for Kladno in 2020-21.

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Aside from his fitness and love of the game, Jagr feels a responsibility to continue on to help support the club he runs after his father took care of it for many years.

“As long as my father breathes, I take the club as my responsibility,” Jagr said via iDNES Sports’s Robert Rampa. “He held it for twenty years. As a son, I would be embarrassed to leave.”

Another reason to keep going for Jagr is a planned outdoor game next season that was postponed in December due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I can’t [quit], we have the almost sold-out December Winter Classic in Špindlerův Mlýn,” he said. “I know that I have to be much better to help the team and [Kladno forward Tomas Plekanec]. I believe it’s in me. It’s about training, doing a little more. And most importantly not to gain weight. It’s not easy to play at the age of 50 with 120 kilos. ”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Jaromir Jagr planning to return for 34th professional season originally appeared on NBCSports.com