NHL and international hockey legend Jaromir Jagr came out of retirement to play one more game after his team was facing a rough patch due to an unidentified illness.
Jagr has a long history in the sport; the athlete played in the NHL from 1988 to 2018. He has since taken part in the Czech Republic’s top league for the Kladno Knights, a team he is the majority owner of.
The knights had only 12 available players due to a recent illness and had postponed the previous game. The team was at risk of facing disciplinary actions by the league should another game be postponed.
It was at this moment when Jagr, who had not played in the team’s previous 26 games, decided it was time to hit the ring once more.
Yahoo Sports reported that tallied a pair of assists in over 15 minutes of ice time.
“My arrival was not planned in advance,” said the hockey legend. “When Liberec decided to not postpone the match, we only had 12 players at training on Saturday. There was a threat of suspension and I didn’t want it to happen,” he explained.
Blaze Media reported that Jagr’s decision to participate prevented his team from facing penalties while also setting back his eligibility to be put into the Hockey Hall of Fame until at least 2026.
Jagr was apparently an admirer of Ronald Reagan. According to a 1992 article drafted by Sports Illustrated, the then 12-year-old Jagr carried a photograph of the former president and appreciated him “because he was somebody who stood up to the Communists.”
The hockey player’s grandfather notably was jailed for two years after he courageously refused to work for communists after the takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948.
Jagr seemed to be an American patriot as well, he apparently had an American flag “in his bedroom and two decals of Old Glory on the windshield of his car.”
The number 68 found on his uniform is in reference to the Prague Spring of 1968, which was both a time of backlash against communist authorities in Czechoslovakia and the year of his grandfather’s death.
Hockey News Hub shared a video featuring plays by Jagr during the game:
Here's a look at Jaromir Jagr's (@68Jagr) 2 primary assists today in his return for Kladno. 🐐🍎🍎
Kladno fall 7-3
2 SOG | 2 Assists | 15:10 TOI pic.twitter.com/Mr34LWSLCJ
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) December 11, 2022