CALGARY -- Jaromir Jagr will get one more season in the NHL.
The right wing signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
"I'm glad I'm here," Jagr said. "I want to say thanks to the Calgary Flames organization. They gave me a chance to play at least one more year in the NHL. I've been in the NHL for so many years … I don't even know how many. I started when I was 18. I'm 45. I love this game. I love the NHL."
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Jagr, who could earn an additional $1 million in bonuses, Sportsnet reported, added it "99.9 percent might be my last season."
It will be his first with a team from Canada.
"When I decided last minute where I wanted to go, it was a big factor also," he said. "I wanted to get the experience so I can say I've played for a Canadian team. So I'm here."
Jagr went unsigned after the Florida Panthers decided not to bring him back. He had 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) in 82 games last season.
"I was waiting for such a long time," he said. "This summer was a different summer than I was used to. I didn't know if I was ever going to play here. I'm going to do the maximum I can do to help this team win. Give me a little bit of time. It was a different summer. When you don't have the motivation to practice, to go in a direction … I didn't know where I was going to play or if I was going to play.
"Now I know. I probably just need a little bit more time than usual. After that I will give everything I can to help this team."
Jagr did not play when the Flames opened their season with a 3-0 loss against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Wednesday, and there was no confirmation he would be in the lineup for Calgary's home opener against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN, CITY, NHL.TV).
Video: NHLers describe the ageless one, Jaromir Jagr
"We'll see," general manager Brad Treliving said when asked when Jagr would make his Flames debut. "We all know his legendary training regimen. We've talked to his guys; he's in good shape. But he hasn't had a practice or played any exhibition games. So we'll see. I really don't know. He'll practice tomorrow and the coaches will get their hands on him and we'll go from there."
Jagr, the No. 5 pick in the 1990 NHL Draft, is joining his ninth NHL team after playing for the Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.
"Through my hockey career … I'm not a guy who likes to make changes, and if I do, I need some time to get used to it," said Jagr, who played under Flames coach Glen Gulutzan in Dallas in 2012-13. "This is different here than before. If I went to a different team, at least I'd have some time to get used to it with training camp and playing some games to get used to teammates.
"This is different. I don't know how my body is going to react. I haven't played any games for five months. I didn't have any team practices for five months. I was practicing on my own most of the time. It's not the same. It's going to take time. I think I'll do the maximum and I always love to practice so it's no problem. It'll just take time."
Jagr became the third player in NHL history to score 750 goals, joining Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894), on Oct. 20. Exactly two months later, he scored his 1,888th NHL point to pass Mark Messier for second behind Gretzky (2,857). On Feb. 15, his 45th birthday, Jagr scored his 1,900th NHL point.
"We watched a lot of his shifts from last year,'' Treliving told the Flames website. "Correction, we watched all of his shifts from last year. He still has that ability inside the blue line to hold on to pucks. His mind is at an elite level. He still makes plays.
"Is pace his strongest asset? No, but then you figure how you support speed around him and ultimately allow him to bring his assets into play. He's different than other guys at 45 who depend primarily on pace. If you don't know what Jaromir Jagr's all about by now you haven't been paying attention.
"We want to get better. We feel he can make us better. So you do the deal."
He was voted one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian last season, and is third in goals (765), fifth in assists (1,149) and fourth in games played (1,711) in League history. He also holds the NHL record for most game-winning goals (135). He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992, and was chosen for the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1990-91 after he had 57 points (27 goals, 30 assists) in 80 games.
Video: Jagr thankful for opportunity with Flames
"He's 45. We're going to have to be patient," assistant GM Craig Conroy said. "I hope the fans don't expect to see Jaromir Jagr from 20 years ago. He's going to come in here and take a little time. We believe he's going to help us win games, and that's why we brought him [in].
"Just talking to him on the way over, picking him up at the airport, he has a great attitude. He loves it. I'm trying to get him set up here so he can skate whenever he wants and work out and do all that. We want to make it as comfortable and seamless as possible because it is hard to come to a new team, a new city. I don't think it's going to take long. I truly don't."
Jagr also trails Howe (1,767) by 56 games played for most on the all-time list.
"I said a long time ago I wanted to play until 50," he said. "The new trend of the NHL, and I understand it, the managers and presidents and the teams have to give opportunities to the young guys. I understand it. That's why it's hard for so many older guys to find a job. I'm glad I did. Not that many older guys can say the same thing.
"I was pretty lucky. I had to take the opportunity there."
Source : https://www.nhl.com/news/jaromir-jagr-signs-with-calgary-flames/c-291576252