If Jaromir Jagr retires from NHL …


Sad (if not shocking) news surfaced last night: the Calgary Flames might be parting ways with Jaromir Jagr, and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that there might not be other takers in the NHL.

In other words, this might be it for the 45-year-old, at least in the NHL.

If that’s true, he’ll end his career finally starting to look his age, relatively speaking. He went the last seven games without a point, with his most recent assist coming on Nov. 30. Jagr also failed to score a goal since Nov. 9, representing a 15-game drought. Jagr generated one goal and six assists for seven points in 22 middling games with the Flames.

Jagr has been hampered by injuries at times, and it’s likely that uncertainty didn’t help his cause; as you may recall, his free agency extended deep into the summer.

One can speculate about rust, injuries, and other factors, but it doesn’t change the fact that this could be it for the legendary winger. For some, it stings a bit more because Jagr was close to reaching some other impressive milestones.

With that in mind, and thanks in part to Hockey Reference’s helpful listings, let’s take a look at where Jagr might finish in some lofty categories if he never plays another NHL game.


It seemed like Jagr was poised to become just the third player in NHL history to reach 800 goals, but that will not be the case. Still, he looks to finish third once he hangs up his skates:

1. Wayne Gretzky – 894 goals
2. Gordie Howe – 801
3. Jagr – 766
4. Brett Hull – 741

With 135 game-winning goals, Jagr tops all, with Phil Esposito in second with 118. It’s reasonable to imagine Alex Ovechkin passing Jagr in goals if he’s healthy (Ovechkin is at 584 already), but game-winning goals might be even more likely. Ovechkin already has 100 at age 32.

Other big marks

Jagr had a decent shot to join Gretzky as the only player to eclipse 2,000 regular-season points. Instead, he’ll finish second all-time in points with a whopping 1,921. No one else has crossed the 1,900-point barrier. His 1,155 assists ranks him fifth in league history.

Jagr passed his former Penguins teammate Ron Francis in regular-season games played this season. Francis is now fourth at 1,731, while Jagr finishes third with 1,733. Many thought Jagr had a shot at finishing first all-time:

1. Howe – 1,767
2. Mark Messier: 1,756
3. Jagr: 1,733


Using NHL.com’s historic stats, we can get some perspective on Jagr’s playoff work.

At the moment, he looks like he’ll finish fifth all-time in postseason points with 201, trailing four Oilers: Gretzky, Messier, Jari Kurri, and Glenn Anderson. Jagr ties Gretzky for 15th all-time in postseason games played with 208.

Jagr’s tied with Patrick Marleau for ninth all-time in playoff GWGs with 16, so Marleau could pass him by during a Maple Leafs run.

The “What if?” section

For three years of his would-be NHL career, Jagr was instead in the KHL. Like others, the NHL’s many lockouts also disrupted his numbers. So you could definitely play “What if?” with Jagr.

That said, the fitness freak also enjoyed a remarkably sturdy career. You could counter that, for all we know, Jagr might have suffered an injury during those missed NHL years. Let’s not forget the hit Ovechkin delivered on Jagr during Olympic play.

Still, if we were to assume that Jagr would have been relatively healthy for three more NHL seasons and that the rest of his career would have panned out in similar ways, it’s easy to pencil in even more historic marks for the future Hall of Famer.


As you can see from the records and milestones Jagr already reached, it’s not as though he needs to worry about finishing his career with statistical regrets. The main regrets come from those of us who’ll miss seeing one of the best scorers of all-time in the NHL.

You know, assuming there isn’t one more encore performance to come. (/Raises lighter ready just in case.)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Jeff Carter comes through to help Kings get two huge points

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The Los Angeles entered Monday’s game in Minnesota as one of the six teams in that chaotic scramble for one of the final three playoff spots still up for grabs in the Western Conference.

Trailing by a goal with less than a minute to play — after giving up three consecutive goals to squander what had been a two-goal lead — it seemed as if they were going to leave two important points on the table.

It was at that point that Dustin Brown sent the game to overtime with a late goal, setting the stage for Jeff Carter to score the game-winner in overtime and lifting the Kings to a 4-3 win.

It was Carter’s second goal of the game and continued his strong play since returning to the lineup in late February from injury. In 12 games since returning to the lineup Carter now has eight goals and 10 total points. The Kings are also now 7-4-1 with him back in the lineup. He is still an impact player and having him healthy is going to certainly be huge for the Kings down the stretch as they push for a playoff spot.

Make no mistake, this was a huge win for the Kings when it comes to getting that playoff spot. They entered the night with 84 points, tied with the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars. The Kings were sitting in the second wild card spot due to tiebreaker but were able to jump back ahead of the Ducks for the third spot in the Pacific Division.

That means the Ducks fall into the second wild card spot, sitting two points ahead of the Stars and three points ahead of the St. Louis Blues. Colorado with 86 points is also very much in that group.

Speaking of the Avalanche, even though the Wild let a point slip away tonight by giving up the late goal and losing in overtime they still picked up point and were able to move four points ahead of the Avalanche for the No. 3 spot in the Central Division.


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Ryan Donato scores in NHL debut for Bruins (Video)


One day ago the Boston Bruins signed US Olympian Ryan Donato to an entry level contract.

On Monday, he was given an opportunity to immediately slide into their lineup against the Columbus Blue Jackets and he did not waste any time making an impact.

After recording four shots on goal in the first period, Donato broke through with his first NHL goal in the second period (on his fifth shot of the game) when he blasted a one-timer home on a give-and-go with Torey Krug.

Have a look.

That goal tied the game at one early in the second period.

Brad Marchand and Riley Nash would add goals not longer that to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead.

All of that is happening against a Blue Jackets team that entered the night having won seven in a row, while the Bruins were playing without Patrice Bergeron, Rick Nash and Charlie McAvoy. Pretty deep team they have in Boston.

Donato added two more assists after scoring his first goal.

Unfortunately for the Bruins they were unable to hold on to that 3-1 lead and allowed Columbus to come from behind for the 5-4 overtime win.

Prior to signing with Bruins (and along with his time on the US Olympic team) Donato had been playing his collegiate hockey at Harvard. He scored 26 goals and added 17 assists in 29 games this season.

He was originally a second-round draft pick by the Bruins in 2014. That 2014 draft class has already produced David Pastrnak, Danton Heinen, and Anders Bjork.


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 season continues on Monday night when the Los Angeles Kings visit the Minnesota Wild. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. You can catch all of the action on NBCSN or on our Live Stream.


Tobias RiederAnze KopitarDustin Brown
Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTrevor Lewis
Kyle CliffordAdrian KempeTyler Toffoli
Andy AndreoffNate ThompsonTorrey Mitchell

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty
Alec MartinezDion Phaneuf
Jake MuzzinChristian Folin

Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick

[NHL on NBCSN: Kings, Wild continue pursuit of important points]


Jason ZuckerEric StaalNino Niederreiter
Zach PariseMikko KoivuMikael Granlund
Tyler EnnisMatt CullenCharlie Coyle
Marcus FolignoJoel Eriksson EkDaniel Winnik

Ryan SuterMatt Dumba
Jonas Brodin – Ryan Murphy
Nick SeelerNate Prosser

Starting goalie: Devan Dubnyk

NHL GMs are at least trying to fix goalie interference reviews

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Much like the NFL’s headaches when it comes to what is or isn’t a catch, a simple stroll around Hockey Twitter will often unearth loud groans about goalie interference reviews. At least when people aren’t grumbling about offside goal reviews, that is.

From the viewpoints of reporters on hand for the latest round of GM meetings, it sounds like the league is at least attempting to sort out the latest mess.

Granted, you could sense some of the fatigue on this issue from what Lightning GM Steve Yzerman had to say about it, via NHL.com’s Dan Rosen:

“You can clarify the standards, but each referee and everyone, you and I, has a different opinion,” Yzerman said. “Within that room everyone has a little different opinion on did it impact the goaltender. It’s subjective. No one is ever going to agree 100 percent.”

Fair enough, but much of the frustration stems from the sheer confusion at hand, as there doesn’t seem to be a clear standard. It’s one thing to disagree with how an infraction is called, but at the moment, many feel like there’s far too much variation in calls.

With that in mind, some GMs apparently hope to tweak the process by, ideally, limiting the number of people who are making the snap decisions on goalie interference:

By “centralizing,” it could mean leaving that decision to “The Situation Room,” as Rosen explains:

The meetings reportedly included test cases for goalie interference, with Rosen noting that GMs and media alike had trouble reaching a consensus on certain examples. That helps to illuminate the challenge at hand, but again, many people would probably be at least a bit happier if it was easier to anticipate what would and would not be called as interference.

Quite a few numbers were thrown around about coaches challenges. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan shared a slide from the NHL that would argue that offside challenges have dropped off, likely because a failed challenge results in a delay of game penalty, but goalie interference remains a drag on the game.

It’s a vaguely depressing yet informative chart:

Ultimately, it seems like the league still has quite a bit to sort through, with totally fun subplots including the notion that goalies are being coached to embellish interference. Again, lots of fun.

For fans of the sport, it’s about walking the line between getting it right and not grinding too many games to a screeching halt. One might ponder carrying over the delay of game penalty to challenging goalie interference alongside offside reviews, but that might not fly:

Maybe Habs GM Marc Bergevin is correct in saying that just a small number of calls go wrong. Still, these challenges are slowing down games about two minutes at a time. That might not sound like much, though when it happens in the flow of an exciting back-and-forth contest, it can be a real killer.

Let’s hope they improve the process, even if it ends up being a work in progress.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.