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Jagr expects to play next season, focuses on playoffs

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Jagr expects to play next season, focuses on playoffs
Jaromir Jagr is sure he wants to play hockey next season, but he isn't where that will be and doesn't want to focus on it during playoff preparation.


PITTSBURGH -- With Game 1 still several hours away, Jaromir Jagr was reluctantly fielding questions about his future Wednesday morning.

Jagr, 40, re-affirmed his desire to play next season, but he wouldn't give an answer about where even though he has nothing but tremendous things to say about the Flyers organization and his time in Philadelphia so far.

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"Stop talking about myself," Jagr said with a smile. "After playoffs is over then we can talk about stuff like that. Right now there are a lot more important things than me."

The line of questioning started when a reporter asked Jagr if how he performs in the postseason will determine if he plays again next season. Jagr said "it's a tough question to answer," but went into detail about why he does want to play next season.

He never mentioned the fact that he had 19 goals and 35 assists in 73 games this season, proving he can still perform in the NHL despite spending the three previous seasons playing in Russia.

"I want to play because I love the game and I believe no matter how old you are you still can learn as long as you love the game and as long as you are willing to work hard," Jagr said. "You can learn even when you turn 50. It doesn't matter what kind of job you have, you always can learn if you're willing to do it.

"I know I am going to play. I don't know where I'm going to play, but it doesn't matter because I love the game. Right now I'm here right now and I just want to get ready for the playoffs."

Jagr is getting ready to play his former team, one he even entertained returning to this offseason before he signed a one-year, $3.3 million contract with the Flyers. He will likely be booed every time he touches the puck Wednesday night, but the ill-will any fans feel toward him has not changed his view on his experience with the Penguins from 1990-2001 and some of the teammates he had.

He specifically referenced Phil Bourque, Jay Caufield, Joey Mullen, Kjell Samuelsson and Bob Errey.

"I know I am going to play. I don't know where I'm going to play, but it doesn't matter because I love the game. Right now I'm here right now and I just want to get ready for the playoffs."
-- Jaromir Jagr

"I have such great memories of the teammates. We won together," Jagr said, referring to the Penguins' Cup championship teams of 1991 and 1992. "Those kind of guys, they showed me around. They showed me the life off the ice. They taught me on the ice. Of course you have to appreciate it."

Jagr also appreciates how this season has unfolded for him in Philadelphia, where he had a major impact both on the ice and in the dressing room.

"I think our group is very tight and I don't think I was on a team that there was no argument and no fighting over the year. That's a first for me," Jagr said. "This group is so tight and the chemistry is so good and a lot of great guys are around the team. That gives me confidence. In the playoffs it is up and down, but if the group is tight you can always turn around everything."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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