Jaromir Jagr’s time in the NHL has come to an end, though he’s not done playing hockey.
It wasn’t the way anyone wanted to see the future Hall of Famer exit the league, as all 31 teams took a pass on him.
Jagr cleared waivers on Monday, paving the way for the 45-year-old to be reassigned to Kladno, his hometown team in the Czech Republic.
“I want to thank Brad Treliving and the Calgary Flames for giving me the immense opportunity to be a part of their team and continue my NHL career this season,” said Jagr in a team-released statement. “Although I am very disappointed that things did not turn out as we had hoped due to a number of circumstances, I am deeply grateful to the Flames, the fans and the City of Calgary for having welcomed me so generously. I now look forward to continuing the season in Kladno.”
Jagr has played for Kladno a few times before, first starring with them as a teenager before his move to the NHL in 1990. The Czech native also returned home to play during NHL work stoppages in 1994, 2004, and 2012.
The move to Europe means that Jagr is now eligible to play in the Olympics, though it doesn’t sound like that’s something he’s interested in. The Czech Republic has also already named its roster.
After signing a one-year contract in October, Jagr appeared in just 22 games with the Calgary Flames this season. He scored just one goal and six assists in a season where he was slowed by injuries.
“Jaromir’s career speaks for itself,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving. “He is a legend in our sport and we are very appreciative that he selected Calgary to pursue his career in the NHL. Regretfully, with a late start to his season combined with nagging injuries, he wasn’t in a position to perform at the level both he and our team had hoped. During his short time in Calgary, Jaromir demonstrated tremendous leadership and professionalism, especially with our young players. We thank him for his contributions to our group both on and off the ice.”
A five-time NHL scoring champion, Jagr leaves the league after 1733 games, which trails Gordie Howe’s all-time record by just 34 games. He’s second all-time in points, trailing only Wayne Gretzky.
It goes without saying that Jagr is one of the greatest players to ever play, winning a Hart Trophy in 1999, the Pearson Trophy three times (1999, 2000, 2006), and two Stanley Cups (1991, 1992).