Jaromir Jagr cleared waivers today, and the Calgary Flames announced that the 45-year-old winger would be moving on from the NHL and returning to the Czech Republic as a player on HC Kladno. Jagr, after waiting a long time for contract offers in the offseason, struggled with injuries in Calgary, and he’ll find a much more comfortable playing situation in second-division Kladno, on a team where he is also the president and co-owner. Jagr leaves the NHL as the third-leading goalscorer of all-time with 766, behind only Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky, the second in points, and third in games played with 1,733.
The entire second act of Jagr’s NHL career was a pleasant surprise, starting from when he signed with the Flyers in 2011 after a three-year stint in the KHL. He was 39 at the beginning of that season, and he went on to score another 153 goals with several different teams, including one this year with Calgary. He’s been counted out before, so it isn’t completely insane to wonder if Jagr could still find a place somewhere in the NHL, but given the injuries, the low quality of his new team, and the fact that he’s in a uniquely powerful new position as player-owner, this truly seems to be it.
If so, Jagr leaves after 24 seasons with the Penguins, Capitals, Rangers, Flyers, Stars, Bruins, Devils, Panthers, and Flames. Almost as importantly (for some of the elders on staff), he was the last remaining active player to have appeared in NHL ’94. Here are some cool highlights: