PRAGUE -- Jaromir Jagr has benefited from his size throughout his career. When he turns his back to the play to shield the puck, it's very difficult for defenders to get around his big body to his long stick.
Jagr decided to give up some of that advantage during the 2014-15 NHL season. In an effort to keep pace with his young Florida Panthers linemates, the 43-year-old lost more than 20 pounds, trading size for speed.
"I'm still somewhere around 105 kilograms (230 pounds) and I used to have 115 (253)," he said. "It's hard to skate with so much weight, when other players have 80 (176). I'd be happy to see them moving with a 30-kilogram vest."
The benefits of Jagr's weight loss were obvious at the end of the NHL regular season, and they've been evident at the IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic, where Jagr has adjusted to the larger international rink and had no problem skating past much younger defensemen while leading the host country to the semifinals.