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.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

Harry How/Getty Images

CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

Getty Images

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

tampa bay lightning
Scott Audette/Getty Images

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
Julian Avram/Getty Images

TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.