The oldest player in the NHL is set to defy his age for at least one more season.
On Thursday, the Florida Panthers announced the re-signing of Czech forward Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract. Per club policy, financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but let’s be real here–that doesn’t really matter at this juncture. JAGR’S COMIN’ BACK, FAM.
“Jaromir has had a tremendous influence on our younger players and has been a key offensive contributor on our team,” Panthers Head Coach Gerard Gallant said in a release. “We are happy to have him back as we look to build off this year’s playoff appearance.”
One third of a top line responsible for roughly 30% of the Panthers’ total regular season point production, the big-bodied right winger paced the team in points. Additionally, the 44-year old finished among the club’s top-three in goals scored, game-winning goals scored, power play goals scored, assists, plus/minus rating and shooting percentage, all at the tender, young age of 44.
While he slumped in the postseason–notching a pair of assists in the Cats’ six-game series loss to the New York Islanders–Jagr’s role in helping the team secure its first playoff berth since 2012 cannot be understated.
His on-ice performances and off-ice leadership had a tangible effect on the team’s fortunes, playing a large part in the second division-title-clinching campaign of the franchise’s 23-year history.
And–if you really want to go down that route–his arrival has, arguably, spurred the Panthers’ return to national prominence.
Since joining the squad at the 2015 trade deadline, Jagr’s career has experience a renaissance of sorts. Through 99 games, the forward has scored at a 0.85 PPG pace, the highest of his career since returning from a three-year stint in the KHL.
With the dearth of young talent populating the roster, the Florida Panthers are poised to be playoff contenders for quite some time.
Having Jagr on the bench will jumpstart the process.
“His track record speaks for itself, ranking third all-time in points and goals,” Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon said after revealing his latest roster move.
“He has been a great fit with our organization and we are excited to have him back for next season.”