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Soreness causes Jagr to leave Devils practice

by Mike G. Morreale /

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer will "err on the side of caution" with right wing Jaromir Jagr, who left the ice early in the second session during the opening day of training camp Thursday with general soreness.

"I'm not overly concerned about it, but because time is definitely on our side we'll err on the side of caution," DeBoer said following the on-ice activity at AmeriHealth Pavilion.

Jagr was not available to speak to the media after leaving during the early stages of his session. He was skating on a line with center Travis Zajac and left wing Patrik Elias.

"I think there are different types of soreness; it's a different level when you step out onto the ice and it's not the first time I've dealt with guys who had aches and pains on the first day," DeBoer said. "It's a long summer and especially with the older guys. It sometimes takes a little longer for the body to get used to things that quickly."

Jagr seemed to be wincing a short time after taking the ice with his group. The 41-year-old has proven he still has the work ethic and determination to be a big contributor in the League. He ranks 34th in NHL games played (1,391), 10th in goals (681), 12th in assists (1,007) and eighth in points (1,688). His career spans 19 seasons with six teams, five from the Eastern Conference.

The Devils signed Jagr to a one-year contract after losing forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson during the offseason. Jagr played last season for the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins.

"In my eyes, we have three Hall of Fame players in our lineup now in [Martin] Brodeur, Elias and Jagr," DeBoer said. "They are all over 40 or close to 40, in Patrik's case, and all three came in fantastic shape. Jagr showed up in fantastic shape and he looks great and is very enthusiastic."


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