Jaromir Jagr is currently 44 years old, the third leading goal and points scorer in NHL History, and in the midst of a record-setting season for a man his age. While most athletes would be content to play out the rest of the season and retire to fish and get fat, Jagr has other ideas. In an interview with Sportsnet, he revealed his plans for the future.
The 44-year-old Florida Panthers legend now says he hopes to continue playing hockey until he’s 60.
“It may be after that, but I don’t know,” Jagr said Wednesday. “I’m not sure yet.”
For a guy who has already cemented himself into the pantheon of Hockey-Gods, he sure hasn’t lost a step. He’s the first player over 40 to record over 20 goals and 50 points in a season. He also caps off games with 1 a.m. workouts, and participates in every morning practice. Panthers coach Gerard Gallant has even made practices optional to him, but he refuses to stay off the ice. We all know that “voluntary” to most people means “don’t show up,” but Jagr embraces the game as much as he did when he entered the league at 19. Goalie Robert Luongo expanded on Jagr’s work ethic.
“He’s on the ice more than the young guys,” … “Pretty impressive.” … “He does whatever he wants pretty much. At his age, he’s been around so long and he’s had success. He needs to do whatever’s best for his body.”
To someone like the Jagr-meister, “whatever’s best for his body,” translates to “going all in all the time.” Some people cap off weights with a protein shake, he has a glass of 97 octane. There’s a Hemi where his heart should be. Dude’s good at hockey.
The mental image of a 60-year-old flying across the ice and throwing guys a third of his age into the boards is glorious. By that time his mullet could easily be down to his skates, and he’ll probably have a couple more trophies on the mantle. He might even break the unbreakable records, Gretzky’s 894 goals and 1,963 points.
I truly hope this comes to fruition. Athletes don’t usually have the opportunity to play for 10 years let alone 25+. My folks remember the early years of Jagr, and if my kids can be around for his twilight that would be unheard of. Seeing someone who has already achieved so much strive for more is an example we can all follow, and something more athletes should look to. In his own words,
“First of all, I’m never happy because I’m trying to reach my top potential,” said Jagr. “I’m always chasing my maximum, so that’s why I’m never going to be happy because it’s impossible to reach it. It’s very high.”
He said it best. Here’s some bonus footage of the man himself making goalies and defensemen look like fools.
Guy is a legend..
Image via YouTube