Winter Games Athletes
One of the sport’s true legends, Jagr was named the NHL’s 37th greatest player of all-time by The Hockey News - in 1998. The Czech star was just 26 years old then, but he’d already won a pair of Stanley Cups and two scoring trophies and was just getting started. Three more Art Ross Trophies and a Hart Trophy have followed, and Jagr has scored 694 goals - tied for the seventh-most in league history - in a career that’s still going strong in its 20th season. On his fourth team in three seasons since returning from a three-year stint in the KHL, Jagr - who will turn 42 in the midst of the Sochi Games - leads New Jersey in goals (17), assists (32) and points while posting a startling plus-21 rating for a Devils squad with a negative-3 goal differential. While he’s played in more than 1,600 career games in the NHL, Jagr has plenty of international experience as well. He’s been part of all four Olympics since the NHL began sending players in the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, where he helped lead the Czech Republic to a surprise gold medal. Jagr’s subsequent Olympic experiences haven’t been quite as good, with a pair of non-medal finishes sandwiched around a bronze in Turin in 2006, but he led the Czechs to gold at the 2010 World Championships and bronze a year later, totaling eight goals and eight assists in those tournaments. Jagr has already said he’d like to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but for now he’ll again play a major role on a Czech team that should be a medal contender. The more wide open international ice may not be the best thing for Jagr’s game at this point, but his remarkable puck possession skills should make him a fixture on the Czech power play and one of their top two lines.