Ever wonder how Jaromir Jagr plays at such a high level, despite the fact he turned 41 in February?
If yes, read this excellent piece from the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.
In it, Friedman sheds light on the late-night workouts Jagr has been conducting throughout his professional hockey career.
Regardless of the city and rink situation, the story is almost always the same: No. 68 demands after-hours access to the facilities, routinely hits the ice as late as 11 p.m, and puts himself through the paces.
Here’s more, from CBC:
“The first time I found out (about the late-night routine), I arrived at the rink first thing in the morning…and saw this huge mess of Jagr’s gear soaking wet on the ground. He’s, uh, kind of a messy guy,” [Flyers head equipment manager Derek] Settlemyre said, and you can tell he’s smiling at the memory.
“It wouldn’t be like our guys to leave that. So I asked him if he forgot to get his stuff washed. He said, ‘Oh no buddy, that was last night. I came in around 11.’
“We had a key made for him. He would do double workouts, even after games.”
Here’s another anecdote, from Dallas Magazine:
A few days before the first game, he landed in Dallas and shirked the team’s offers to find him an upscale apartment near downtown Dallas.
Instead, Jagr rented a room at an extended-stay hotel for $169-a-night. He asked management for a key to the rink, and on the team’s nights off, sometimes well after 10 pm, Jagr would go by himself to the ice to skate.
In Dallas, team officials latched onto the Jagr-as-mentor storyline. He runs drills after games and the young guys join in, hopping from leg to leg outside the locker room, skating extra reps of sprints in between the blue and red lines, or swinging around a small circle weight on the end of their hockey sticks.
This postseason, pics of Jagr going for a late night skate have popped up (see here), as have those depicting him wearing a weighted vest (see here) a 30-pound flak jacket he wears for strength and conditioning.
Not bad from the NHL’s second-oldest active player this season, huh?