Jaromir Jagr might not be gone forever.
The soon-to-be 46-year-old future Hall of Famer left the Calgary Flames earlier this week, with his NHL career seemingly over following a nagging knee injury that first began to give him problems on November 18. He was reassigned to Kladno, a second-division team he owns in his native Czech Republic.
Given that he has said this will be his last season, you were right to assume we had seen the Czech superstar on NHL ice for the last time.
But not so fast.
Get this: Jagr is telling us there’s a chance he could return…
…although he also said it’s minimal…
“The chance is still open, even though it now looks minimal, that I could come back to play for Calgary,” Jagr was quoted as saying in an article that appeared on NHL.com on Friday.
A move back to the Flames depends on a few things, of course.
First and foremost is his health. He hasn’t played a game since December 31st.
Other factors include when Kladno’s season ends and if Jagr shows enough promise overseas to entice Calgary to have him back in its lineup.
Kladno is attempting to get promoted to the Czech first division, and Jagr said that’s his main goal. But if they’re eliminated early, the NHL remains a possibility. He said he could also play for Trinec, a Czech team in the first division.
Though he played just 22 games with the Flames, his first time with a Canadian team, Jagr spoke about his time in Calgary positively.
“In Calgary, I’ve experienced exactly what I had expected from playing in Canada; warm welcome, great fans, best treatment,” he said. “Therefore, I regret I couldn’t stay longer and did not show the performance that I wanted to. The fans have been great to me, and the management treated me excellently.”
Jagr ranks second all-time in NHL points (behind only Wayne Gretzky) and is just 34 games behind Gordie Howe’s all-time games played record.