This Wednesday marks 25 years since Czech hockey legend Jaromír Jágr scored his first NHL goal. On October 7, 1990, he beat Chris Terreri – then-goalie for the New Jersey Devils. Jágr has since scored an additional 721 regular season goals and will no doubt add more in his 22nd season. What’s more, the forward has promised to return to the famous mullet hairstyle he sported when he first joined the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Half of his current teammates with the Florida Panthers won’t remember it as they hadn’t even been born when Jaromír Jágr scored his first goal in the NHL. The goal itself was not particularly remarkable, but first is first. The player was reminded of it a few years ago in team footage posted on youtube by the New Jersey Devils. In his response to a question Jágr talked about the goal, the score that night, and Super Mario (Mario Lemieux).
“Was my first NHL goal against the Devils? I remember that: my second game. The score was like 17:2! (laughs) – it was different hockey then. Mario didn’t play then – he had a bad back and was out for half a year. The score was 8:1. If he had played, that score would have been 17:2!”
Jágr, who was 5th overall in the 1990 NHL Entry draft, won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. He was instantly recognizable not only for his on-ice skills but also for his long flowing mullet. Sure, he’s the NHL’s best European player of all time, he has two Stanley Cup rings and an Olympic gold to his name… but he won other accolades thanks to his hair. In 2012, Time Out Chicago rated him first among the ten best mullets in NHL history. At the time, the site wrote “This head looks like it invented hair metal”. The player even beat out the Great One, Wayne Gretzky himself, who came second.
It should be no surprise, then, that when Jágr recently told a reporter covering the Florida Panthers he was going to bring the hairstyle back, it resulted in thousands of tweets and retweets online and “almost” broke the internet. Fellow player Roberto Luongo is the one we can thank. The goalie reportedly campaigned for the mullet for two weeks.
This changes everything.
Hockey fans know that even at 43, Jágr’s “still got it”. He was an inspiration and easily the Czech national squad’s best player at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague earlier this year; imagine how much of an added boost it will be for Florida when he grows his Samson-like mullet back!
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