Former NHL Legend Jaromir Jagr Jokingly Hints at Return as Free Agency Begins

by Patrick Norton

Jaromir Jagr’s NHL career ended in 2017 following an injury with the Calgary Flames. Jagr’s ninth and final club in the league designated the winger for waivers in January 2018. Since the 50-year-old’s North American finale, Jagr keeps busy with his hometown club, HC Kladno.

But when NHL free agency opened at 11 AM CST on Thursday morning (July 13), Jagr reentered the league’s atmosphere, proclaiming on Twitter his availability should a team request his services.

While Jagr never filed formal retirement papers from the league where he spent 24 seasons, the likelihood of a return is about 0.1%. However, considering the athletes supreme longevity, it might seem improper to rule out a comeback. Assuming Jagr’s NHL career remains in the rearview mirror, the future Hockey Hall of Famer leaves behind a historic career.

Sole possession of fourth place on the all-time list of goal scorers, nobody likely sniffs his 766 career mark for a long time. Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin’s overtaking of Jagr’s total in 2021 brought forth the final threat. The Czech’s 1155 assists are good enough for fifth on the sheet. Jagr represents the only non-Canadian in the top-20 other than 20th place American-born Phil Housley.

In the viral tweet, No. 68 does make one realistic plea: there’s a job opening for defenseman for HC Kladno. Jaromir Jagr has owned the club since 2011, buying the team from his father.

Jagr’s Longing For The NHL Isn’t Only Notable League Absence Moving Forward

While the former NHLer tweets from Kladno, another player with ties to the legend is hanging up his skates for good. Jagr’s lone Stanley Cup championship comes by way of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1992. Finally returning the series with the Boston Bruins in 2013, it marked the longest stretch between appearances in league history – 21 years.

Boston’s 2013 campaign ended in defeat at the hands of Chicago after the Blackhawks tied and took the league in the clinching Game 6 in a 17-second span. On the ice for the Blackhawks when the final buzzer rang? Duncan Keith.

A 17-year veteran of the NHL – albeit 12 years younger than Jagr – Keith retires with three Stanley Cup rings, two Norris trophies and a Conn Smythe award. Following a 16-season stretch with Chicago, the defenseman requested a trade closer to home. Retiring a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Keith visited the Western Conference Finals in his only season with the organization.