Jaromir Jagr forced into action at age 50 after illness decimates his team

Jaromir Jagr is still picking up points in professional hockey at the age of 50. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Jaromir Jagr hasn’t played in the National Hockey League since 2017, but the 50-year-old remains undefeated against father time.

The soon-to-be 51-year-old, owner of the Kladno Knights in the Czech Extraliga, had to fill in due to a widespread illness decimating the roster, making his 2022-23 season debut on Sunday. And he looked pretty good, especially for a player of his age.

Jagr suited up in the Knights’ contest against HC Bílí Tygři Liberec, tallying a pair of assists in over 15 minutes of ice time. His points came in a losing effort, as Kladno fell 7-3.

Friday’s contest between Kladno and Pardubice was postponed after the Knights could not dress enough skaters due to the illness. But as the club faced a second straight postponement, Jagr opted to avoid that disastrous outcome, playing his first game since April.

The 6-foot-3 forward further explained the situation to local reporters post-game, revealing the Knights were down to only 12 skaters the day before and could’ve faced discipline from the league if another game was postponed, forcing him to draw in from the owner’s box.

“My arrival was not planned in advance,” Jagr said. “When Liberec decided not to postpone the match, we only had 12 players at training on Saturday. There was a threat of suspension and I didn’t want it to happen.”

Jagr may have helped the Knights avoid suspension, although his return to professional hockey will delay his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame until at least 2026.

Jagr, a back-to-back Stanley Cup champion in 1991 and ’92, has repeatedly dressed for his own franchise in previous seasons, playing at least one game each year since leaving the Calgary Flames in 2018. He purchased a majority share of Kladno a few days after having his NHL contract terminated by Calgary.

The eight-time All-Star notched 766 goals and 1,921 points in 1,733 contests across three separate NHL stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars and Flames. .

Jagr has scored 26 goals and 70 points over 110 career games with Kladno since 2017-18.

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