Jaromir Jagr said he isn’t ready to retire after the 2013-14 season. Although the New Jersey Devils' forward said Wednesday that, "it might be my last year," he said he prefers to keep playing, repeating that he will return to the Czech Republic after he leaves the NHL. Jagr said he also would like to play in the 2014 Olympics, but only if he and the coaches believe he can help the Czech team.
“I said it might be my last season [in the NHL],” Jagr said. “It depends how I’m going to play. I don’t want to be somewhere if I’m not going to be good or help. Of course, I’m going to play in the Czech league. I have to do it.”
“I love Czech, I love the Czech league, but (having) 20,000 people here in the playoffs is so exciting. It’s like when the singer would have a concert and nobody would be here or 2,000 people. Or an actor is going to make a movie and nobody will come to see it. It doesn't make any sense. That’s why I like the NHL.”
Jagr, the League’s active leading scorer with 681 goals and 1,688 points, agreed to a one-year contract with the Devils in July. He played 34 games for HC Kladno in the Czech Republic during the work stoppage last season, then had 16 goals and 35 points in 45 combined regular-season games with the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins. He also had 10 assists in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final.
"He’s not just a superstar. This guy, he’s one of the best players that played the game, in my career anyway,” Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said of his new teammate. "Mario [Lemieux] was good, [Wayne] Gretzky was good, but this guy, he’s the same age [as the 41-year-old Brodeur]. So, the quality of player, that’s as good as it gets."
At the age of 41, Jagr said he is happy to continue his NHL career in New Jersey.
"I'm excited. I love the game. I want to keep playing,” Jagr said Wednesday after reporting for his physical. "I'm excited for the season to start.
"It was a long season for me last year. I played probably the most games I ever played, 105 games. I didn't have much time to break, so I didn't have much time to practice the way I wanted to during the summer. I have 20 days now before the season starts."