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.
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.)