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Jagr won't play at World Cup: report

Final Team Czech Republic roster will be named by end of week

by @NHL

Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr will not play for Team Czech Republic at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, Denik Sport in the Czech Republic reported Tuesday.

Team Czech Republic general manager Martin Rucinsky told the publication that Jagr, 44, had declined his offer after a week of deliberation.

"We spoke to each other during the weekend and his final decision was he wouldn't be going," Rucinsky said. "It would be too difficult for him to get ready for such an important tournament during the summer. And he said at last year's [IIHF] World Championship that he was done with the national team. He also will have a lot of work with Kladno [Czech league team Jagr owns]. He wants to do some work with the team and therefore wouldn't be able to get ready for the World Cup in time."

The World Cup will be played Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Games will be televised on ESPN in the United States, and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

Jagr, the oldest player in the NHL, led the Panthers with 66 points in 79 games, and was second with 27 goals. He had two assists in six games against the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He's a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." 

The winner will be announced at the 2016 NHL Awards on June 22 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Jagr has represented the Czech Republic national team numerous times. He helped it win the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and gold at the World Championship in 2005 and 2010. He was named the most valuable player of the 2015 Worlds after helping the Czech Republic finish fourth. He announced his retirement from the national team after that event. 

"He made a decision and we can't do anything about it," Team Czech Republic coach Josef Jandac told Denik Sport. "He has every right [not to play]. [Jagr] did so many great things for Czech hockey. But now he won't be on the team and it's time for other guys to pick up the torch."

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