Jaromír Jágr was one of the stars of the Czech squad that took ice hockey gold at the Nagano Olympics, which began 20 years ago on Wednesday. The veteran forward admits playing again at this year’s Olympics did cross his mind – and says the absence of NHL players increases Czech chances of repeating the famous victory of 1998.
Montreal Canadiens’ forward Tomáš Plekanec has become the 14th Czech in
the history to clinch a milestone 600 points in his NHL career. The
35-year-old center, who has been with the Canadiens his entire NHL career,
got an assist on the Habs’ third goal against Ottawa. The final score
ended was 4:1 for Montreal.
The team, in sixth spot in the Atlantic division, has won its last two games.
The Czech ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr will on Saturday make his first
appearance for Kladno since signing for his hometown club on Wednesday,
following his return from the NHL.
Despite knee problems, the 45-year-old will take to the ice in a second-flight clash with Benátky nad Jizerou. The game has been switched from the latter’s stadium to Liberec due to demand for tickets.
Lining up for Benátky nad Jizerou should be another veteran ice hockey star, Petr Nedvěd. Nedvěd, who played in the NHL for 15 seasons, is 46.
Jaromír Jágr has made his first public appearance since news of his return to his hometown club Kladno sparked a wave of Jágrmania in the Czech Republic. Speaking to a scrum of journalists on Thursday, the ice hockey superstar discussed where things had gone wrong for him in the NHL this season – and said he would do his best to satisfy Kladno’s supporters.
In ice hockey, Jaromír Jágr confirmed that he will take the ice for the
Kladno Knights on Saturday in the first division against Benátky nad
Jágr, who returned from Canada on Wednesday, took part in training with his new team for the first time on Thursday. He said the around 45 minute session hurt him more than expected.
Jágr said he is keen to make a start for his home town club as soon as possible so that he can take part in the end of season play offs for promotion to the top Czech league if they get that far. Jágr, 45, returned to the Czech Republic after his stint playing for the Calgary Flames in the NHL came to an end.
Future Hall of Famer Jaromír Jágr was placed on waivers by NHL’s
Calgary Flames on Sunday signaling the end of the hockey forward’s stint
at the Saddledome.
Other NHL teams were left 24 hours to claim the player by 10 am Monday. The Flames are otherwise expected to announce a mutual parting of ways – either a termination of his contract or by loaning him to another team, the Calgary Sun reported.
Jágr, who turns 46 in February, was dogged by injury during much of his time in Calgary and was limited to one goal and six assists during in 22 contests. The most likely outcome, if he isn’t picked up, is a return to his hometown club HC Kladno, just outside of Prague.
SB Nation on Sunday, meanwhile, published an article online listing five NHL teams who should give the Czech “one more shot”, among them the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he won two Stanley Cups, the Montreal Canadiens (where he could reunite on a line with Tomáš Plekanec) and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Most of the members of the winning Czech Olympic ice hockey team from
Nagano will get together in Prague on February 5 to mark the 20th
anniversary of their victory.
The reunion has been arranged to mark what is seen as a key moment not just in sporting but also national history, according to the national ice hockey association which is organising the event.
Seventeen of the 23-strong squad which won gold have promised to take part as well most of the back-up team. One notable exception will by Jaromír Jágr, still playing for the Calgary Flames.