Czech-born phenom Jaromir Jagr celebrated his birthday February 15th by becoming just the ninth player in NHL history to occupy an active roster spot at the age of 44. With 23 NHL seasons to his credit, Jagr was selected 5th overall in the 1990 NHL entry draft behind Owen Nolan, Petr Nedved, Keith Primeau, and Mike Ricci.
The two-time Stanley Cup winner has also won the Art Ross award for most points in a season an incredible five times, and the Hart trophy (most valuable player) twice.
Jagr has also amassed three Lester Pearson (Ted Lindsay) awards (NHLPA award for most outstanding player), an Olympic gold medal, two World Championship gold medals, a silver, and five bronze medals while representing his native Czechoslovakia in international play .
The Florida Panther has played for eight NHL teams and currently has an astounding 1842 career points (739 goals, 1103 assists) with 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 53 games this season. The legendary winger has played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Dallas Stars, the Boston Bruins, the New Jersey Devils, and the Florida Panthers.
Renowned throughout the hockey world for his exemplary off-ice work habits and his commitment to personal training, the 6’3” 230-pound winger, whose first name, ironically enough, is an anagram for “Mario jr”, sits behind only Mario Lemieux himself in terms of overall points as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 806 career games as a Penguin, Jagr amassed 439 goals and 640 assists.
Sitting fourth overall in total points in league history, Jagr trails only Wayne Gretzky (2857), Mark Messier (1887), and Gordie Howe (1850). Jagr needs just eight points to surpass “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe.
It is conceivable that, pending a new contract at the conclusion of this season, the pride of Kladno, Czechoslovakia may tie or surpass Mark Messier’s second-place standing of 1887 by the time he turns 45.
Happy Birthday Jaromir!