PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Penguins host the New Jersey Devils Friday at CONSOL Energy Center.
It’s the return of former Pens star Jaromir Jagr – and it could be the last time he plays in Pittsburgh.
If it seems like a generation or two we’ve seen Jagr play for or against the Penguins, that’s because it is.
It’s been 23 years since he started out with the Penguins.
By the end of the season, he’ll be 42 years old, causing many people to wonder if this will be his final trip to town as an NHL player – a thought Jagr claims hasn’t even entered his mind.
“I love the game, so I … was answering the same question yesterday,” he said, “I’m not planning to retire yet. And if I’m not good enough here, I’m going to go play somewhere else.”
“I don’t want to be anywhere else but here and play hockey,” he added.
He’s still the only Penguins player besides Mario Lemieux to score 1,000 points – and those days ended 12 years and five teams ago.
It’s a career that even Sidney Crosby can’t imagine.
“No, I can’t,” Crosby said, “I find that pretty difficult. It’s amazing what he’s doing and seems like every week he’s achieving some type of milestone or passing somebody. So, he’s had a pretty incredible career.”
Jagr credits his longevity to lessons learned from veteran players like Rick Tocchet, Ron Francis and, of course, Mario Lemieux back in his early Penguin days.
In other news, we’re still waiting on a ruling from the NHL concerning the punishment for the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton after his blindside attack on Brooks Orpik.