Voted into the All-Star Game in Nashville, Jaromir Jagr has once again repeated his need for rest heading into the stretch drive of the NHL regular season with the Florida Panthers.
Jagr is 43 years old. He’ll be 44 next month. He also famously tweeted that three-on-three would “kill” him during the voting process.
“I love the idea of the all-stars and it’s good for the fans,” Jagr said Friday, as per The Associated Press.
“But for me personally, at my age, I know what I need for the rest of the season and maybe the playoffs.”
As for missing the All-Star weekend and taking the one-game hit once the schedule resumes, well, the time for that decision has come and gone. He’ll compete in the three-on-three format for the Atlantic Division, although it will be interesting to see how much ice time he actually gets during the game.
A search through the Panthers’ schedule and a look at Jagr’s time-on-ice numbers show he wasn’t even used in four different overtimes.
(He didn’t dress for Florida in one of those four games.)
In the other seven overtime games, he’s never played more than two shifts in the extra session, and only once has he eclipsed more than two minutes in ice time in a single OT period.
That will change this weekend.
The format includes a semifinal round that will feature two 20-minute games, with the Central Division facing off against the Pacific Division, and the Metropolitan Division facing Jagr and the Atlantic Division, as per NHL.com. The winners from those games meet for the championship in the third game.
That’s a lot of three-on-three hockey in one day.
And from what we’ve seen with this format during the season, the speed and pace can be chaotic, with teams going back-and-forth and odd-man rushes ruling out.
A 43-year-old Jagr, Larkin’s Atlantic Division teammate, on the other hand?
“There’s no reason for guys to be tired here,” Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff told the Buffalo News.
“If you use your six forwards and three defensemen evenly, they’ll probably play 6½-7 minutes. That’s not really a lot of hockey for them. They can go.”