Jaromir Jagr celebrates his 50th birthday on Tuesday and is still playing professional ice hockey in the Czech Republic.
That alone is an absolutely incredible fact. So we wanted to take a look down memory lane and look back at 50 mind-blowing facts, stats and stories to celebrate Jagr’s professional ice hockey career, which has spanned 34 seasons (and five different decades!) and stretches back to his debut at Kladno as a 16- year old
Here we go.
The Basics You May Know
1. His 766 career goals in the regular season rank third in the all-time NHL list behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe.
2. He is second in the NHL all-time points list with 1,921 points
3. He is in the top 5 in the following categories: regular-season goals, regular-season points, regular-season shots on goal, regular-season assists, goals with equal strength, games played, post-season points.
4. He appeared in 10 All-Star games in the NHL.
5. During his career, he won the NHL’s scorer title five times and was one of only three players (Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux are the other two players) to win it between 1981 and 2001, a stretch of 20 seasons.
6. He has won the Art Ross Trophy more times than any non-Canadian player.
7. He won the NHL MVP award (1999).
8th. He won the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award; Most Outstanding Player as voted by the players) three times.
9. In the 2015/16 season he won the Bill Masterton Trophy.
10 Two-time Stanley Cup winner (1991 and 1992 with the Pittsburgh Penguins).
11. Olympic champion (1998 with the Czech Republic).
12. World Champion (2005 and 2010 with the Czech Republic).
13. One of only 27 players to have been in the Triple Gold Club as a Stanley Cup winner, World Championship gold medalist and Olympic gold medalist.
14 He is one of only two Czech players in the triple gold club and joins his former Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Jiri Slegr.
fifteen. He was the flag bearer of the Czech Republic at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
16 He represented the Czech Republic at the Olympic Games four times (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010), scoring 11 goals.
17 He was named one of the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players in 2017.
The stunning numbers
18 He has played more than 2,410 professional hockey games in the regular season and playoffs in the NHL and Europe.
19 He has played professional hockey in one league or another for the last 34 consecutive years.
20 He has previously said he wanted to play until he was 50 and he did.
21 During those games, he has over 1,038 goals in his professional games (regular season, playoffs, NHL, and Europe).
22 1,050 players have appeared in at least one NHL game this season. Only 93 of them (8.8 percent) were actually born when Jagr made his professional debut for Kladno as a 16-year-old in 1988/89.
23 Only 17 of the NHL’s 32 teams were in their current locations in 1988. Four of them relocated (Minnesota to Dallas, Hartford to Carolina, Winnipeg to Arizona, Quebec to Colorado) and 11 were incorporated (San Jose, Tampa Bay, Ottawa, Florida, Anaheim, Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota Wild, Vegas and Seattle) . Another team, Atlanta, emerged and Also moved (to Winnipeg to become Jets version 2.0).
24 Jagr has played professionally for 14 different teams in five different countries (USA, Czech Republic, Russia, Germany and Italy) throughout his career.
Crazy but true facts
25 Jagr has been playing hockey for so long that he has played against him Soviet Union at the Junior World Championships in 1990.
26 He also played against West Germany.
27 When playing for Czechoslovakia.
28 In Jagr’s rookie season, he played against Guy Lafleur. In Lafleur’s rookie season, he was teammates with Henri Richard. In Henri Richard’s rookie season, he was teammates with his brother Maurice Richard. He was teammates with Toe Blake in Maurice Richard’s rookie season. In Toe Blake’s rookie season? He played for the Montreal Maroons.
29 When Jagr began playing professionally in Kladno in 1988, Marcel Dionne, Larry Robinson, Billy Smith, Borje Salming and LaFleur were still active NHL players.
30 Not only did Jagr play in Wayne Gretzky’s last NHL game 23 years ago, he scored the crucial goal in overtime to end Gretzky’s career.
31 Jagr was Lemieux’s longtime teammate at Pittsburgh and assisted in his last playoff goal before retiring in 1997.
32 Then, three years later, he also assisted in Lemieux’s first goal on his return to the NHL.
33 He also scored a goal in that game assisted by Lemieux.
34 At various points in his career, he was both the youngest player in the NHL (18, in the 1990-91 season) and the oldest player in the NHL (45, in the 2015-16 season).
35 Personal Anecdote #1: During the 2012-13 Eastern Conference Finals in Pittsburgh, hours after the Boston Bruins defeated the Penguins in Game 1 or the series, one player was still training tirelessly in the hall outside the team’s locker room: It was 40-year-old Jaromir Jagr
36 Personal Anecdote #2: After a 2012 game in Pittsburgh while a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, Jagr was asked one final question about a defensive play he made that game to score in a Flyers win to prevent several other media members had left the scrum. Jagr got up from his seat and yelled, “I’m so glad you asked that question!” and began yelling over him at every media member in the room as he yelled, “Selke Trophy! Exactly here! If you vote for the Selke Trophy, remember my name!” He seemed justifiably happy.
37 He did not earn a Selke Trophy vote this season, but he did earn random Selke Trophy votes in 2006-07 and 2015-16.
38 There’s an argument that he saved the Penguins franchise in 1999. If the Penguins lost Game 6 to New Jersey, there was a belief that the team would either fold or move. They so badly needed the earnings of another playoff series. Jagr scored the winning goal with less than two minutes left and then the winning goal in extra time. The Penguins then won Game 7 in New Jersey to advance. He did all of this while essentially playing on one leg.
39 He once upset Barrydiot by attempting to score between the legs on a breakaway.
He is everywhere
40 He has a commemorative banknote in the Czech Republic,
42 The Traveling Jagr fan club, who toured the NHL towards the end of his NHL career.
43 Jagr has been traded four times in his career, from Pittsburgh to Washington; Washington to New York; Dallas to Boston; New Jersey to Florida
44 The players he was traded for: Kris Beech, Michal Sivik, Ross Lupaschuk, Anson Carter, Lane Macdermaid, Cody Payne, a first-round draft pick (Jason Dickinson), a second-round draft pick (Ryan Gropp), and a third-round draft pick (Rem Pitlick).
45 These nine players have collectively scored 269 goals in the NHL as of this writing. That’s 497 fewer goals than Jagr himself scored in the NHL. And 202 of those goals belonged to Anson Carter alone. The other eight players together scored just 67 goals.
46 He owns his hometown club in Kladno, the team he currently plays for.
47. He is still the oldest player in NHL history to score a hat trick at age 42 as a member of the New Jersey Devils. He recorded 15 hat-tricks during his career and had five seasons with multiple hat-tricks.
48. His 19 overtime goals ranks second on the NHL all-time list, behind only him Alex Ovechkin24. The obvious catch here is that Jagr has spent most of his career playing without the luxury of 4v4 or 3v3 overtime.
49 Jagr was at his peak between the 1994–95 and 2000–01 seasons, winning four of the six titles during that period. During that stretch, he averaged 1.54 points per game. No other player who appeared in at least 200 games during that period averaged more than 1.35 points per game. Eric Lindros (1.35) and Joe Sakic (1.30) were the only other two over 1.30.
50 The Ultimate What-If: Could He Have Beat Wayne Gretzky’s Goal Record? He finished his NHL career with 766 regular season goals, 128 behind Gretzky. Recall that he missed two half-seasons (1994-95 and 2012-13) and one full season (2004-05) due to lockouts, and then three more full seasons when he played in the KHL between 2008-09 and 2010 -11. That’s basically six full seasons of his NHL career. While it can’t be assumed that there are no injuries, it’s not hard to believe that he could have scored 128 goals in all those seasons, especially considering the odds he’s been scoring in those years. In an alternate universe, Alex Ovechkin is chasing Jagr’s all-time goal scoring record.
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50 mind-blowing facts, stats and stories to celebrate Jaromir Jagr’s 50th birthday originally appeared on NBCSports.com