Calgary Flames sign Jaromir Jagr to 1-year deal
Czech superstar is a 5-time NHL scoring champion
Jaromir Jagr is now a member of the Calgary Flames.
Assistant general manager Craig Conroy made the announcement Wednesday alongside the Czech superstar, who will will be playing in his 24th NHL season.
Jagr, 45, signed a one-year deal with the Flames worth a reported $1 million US.
"I'm glad I'm here," he said. "I'm going to do the maximum I can do to help this team win. I played against the Calgary Flames the last few years, always had a tough time to play against them, especially against their D. They've got a lot of talented forwards."
This will be Jagr's first time playing for a Canadian team.
For everyone asking, our first delivery of <a href="https://twitter.com/NHLFlames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NHLFlames</a> Jagr jerseys and player tees are scheduled to arrive for Home Opener this weekend. <a href="https://t.co/lYjqLDqoq5">pic.twitter.com/lYjqLDqoq5</a>—@FlamesFanAttic
The aging forward — who is second on the NHL's career points list with 1,914 — said he will need some time to get ready before joining the lineup.
"It was a different summer," he said. "I didn't know where I was going to play, if I was ever going to play and now I know, so I'm just going to need more time than usual, but I can promise I'm going to do everything to help this team."
The Flames open the season Wednesday night in Edmonton against the Oilers.
Jagr became a free agent when the Florida Panthers decided not to offer him a new contract after last season. He had spent the last 2½ seasons there, with previous NHL stops with the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jagr was the NHL's MVP in 1999, is a five-time scoring champion and helped the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. He's also helped his native Czech Republic win Olympic gold in 1998 and gold at the world championships in 2005 and 2010.
Getting to play in Canada was a factor in his decision.
"I already said in a Czech newspaper, 99.9 per cent this might be my last season," he said.
"So I want to get the experience, so I can one-day say I played for a Canadian team."
Conroy said he expects Jagr will be a positive influence in the dressing room, especially on the younger players.
"He's done everything in this league. He's done everything internationally, anything you can possibly do," he said.
"His work ethic and the way he handles himself as a pro, that's just going to help our young guys. I'm hoping he's going to be a demanding guy and he expects a lot out of our young guys because if he can help them, that's the key."
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