Jaromir Jagr has the second-most points in NHL history, but he still doesn’t have a job in the league as the summer marches toward fall.
The 45-year-old is even considering starting the season with the second-tier team he owns in his native Czech Republic.
“The most serious negotiations I have are with Kladno, because Kladno has a smart owner who knows what he wants,” Jagr joked, according to NHL.com. “No, really, I don’t have a clue. I leave it all on my agent [Petr Svoboda]. There is a couple of [NHL] teams that showed interest, but nothing specific yet.”
Jagr had 46 points in 82 games for the Florida Panthers last season, but the sides couldn’t agree on a new deal and parted ways. He wants to return to the NHL for a 24th season, even for part of a season, which means he doesn’t want to commit to the top Czech league.
“That would be the advantage of playing for Kladno. One thing is I would be at home and the other is I would have a chance to leave for the NHL anytime there is an opportunity,” he said, according to NHL.com. “Let’s say some team deals with injuries and needs help, then I could pack my stuff in the next day and go. If I played in Extraliga, I wouldn’t have such an option unless the Czech league season would be over.”
Jagr needs to play in 57 NHL games to pass Gordie Howe for the most ever. His 765 goals are 36 behind Howe for second behind Wayne Gretzky. Jagr figures he’d need two seasons to do that because he’s not the same player who scored more than 50 goals in a season three times. He did score 16 last season and 27 the year before that, so he feels he can still contribute.
“I know very well I’m not the same player like 10 or 15 years ago, when I was able to win games by myself,” he said, according to NHL.com. “It’s up to the coach what position he wants to use me. Maybe it would be even better for me if I played on a second or third line because I would play against worse players and worse defensemen. I didn’t have as much luck in my entire career; I always had to face the top defensemen. Even in Florida, I always played against the best, which was always very tough.”
The NHL season starts Oct. 4, but rookies report to teams at the beginning of September.
“This situation is a little uncomfortable when I don’t know what’s going to happen, and also when is the season going to start for me, because the season in Europe starts one month earlier,” Jagr said, according to the website.