The fountain of hockey youth that Jaromir Jagr drinks from hasn’t run dry just yet.
The 48-year-old NHL great wants to keep playing in his native Czech Republic for at least another year while skating with Kladno, the club for which he is also the majority owner.
“This year is very different from others,” the former Ranger told NHL.com. “We don’t know what is waiting for us tomorrow and it takes a lot of energy. This year I wasn’t practicing as hard as in previous years but I still want to play this season. I think it might happen in the playoffs. I want to be a player who helps his team to win. I’m not this player now but I want to help [Kladno] to return to the top division.
“I can’t say how long I want to keep playing. The game is getting more difficult. I think I kind of lost the drive when I wanted to prove that I’m still capable of getting better. I feel a lack of motivation to keep playing, though this year is definitely not the last in my career.”
Jagr, who last played in the NHL for the Flames in 2017, doesn’t want to let the pandemic get in the way of his hockey plans. Kladno was set to play in the Czech Extraliga’s outdoor game this December, but it has been pushed back a year because of COVID-19.
“This year we had to play in the Winter Classic game, but it was [postponed, from Dec. 2020],” Jagr said. “So I can’t retire now. I promised that I’ll play that game.”
Last season, Jagr scored 15 goals and 14 assists in 38 games for Kladno.