After his Florida Panthers failed to make the NHL playoffs, legendary Czech forward Jaromír Jágr, who claimed he was retired from international competition following last year’s World Championships in Belarus, is now considering rejoining the Czechs for this year’s Worlds, on home ice in his native Prague.
Jágr, who has won two World Championship Golds and one Olympic Gold since joining the senior team in 1991, would surely be a welcome addition to the Czech squad, who will be missing the likes of fellow snipers David Krejčí and Tomáš Plekanec at least for the early stages of the tournament due to the playoffs. Despite being 43 years old, Jágr is having something of a career resurgence as of late, recently passing Phil Esposito to move into fifth all-time for NHL goals scored. Jágr has said he feels he has “at least” another seven years left in his NHL career, and would like to resign with the Panthers next season.
But with his focus off the playoffs now, perhaps Jágr’s leadership presence for the Czech squad, coached by former teammate and 1998 medalist Vladimír Růžička, could help the Czechs reclaim their international glory and win their first Worlds since 2010. While Jágr has claimed that he will join the team but his World Championship participation is uncertain, if he is in shape and able to play, Růžička would be a fool not to include the legendary Jágr in his roster.