Jaromir Jagr has been perfectly clear: he wants to play. The 44-year-old from Kladno agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers. It’s worth $4 million out of the gate, with about $1.5 million or so in incentives.
The aforementioned incentives include $5,000 if he wins the Hart Trophy, $5,000 if he wins the Art Ross Trophy and $5,000 if he wins the Stanley Cup.
In other words, 2016-2017 is going to be a fun season for Jagr and fans of the Panthers.
This is the ageless wonder’s sixth straight one-year deal since his NHL return in 2011. Prior to that, he was putting in work in the KHL.
“Jaromir is a Hall of Fame player and had an excellent season playing alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau,” Florida general manager Dale Tallon said. “His track record speaks for itself, ranking third all-time in points and goals. He has been a great fit with our organization and we are excited to have him back for next season.”
In 79 games with the Panthers this season, Jagr led the team with 27 goals and 39 assists. He had 143 shots on goal and some have targeted him for a slowdown in terms of statistics, but that doesn’t seem overly likely. With the incentives loaded into the new deal, it’s probable that Jags could put up even higher numbers in the coming season.
And let’s face it, this could go on for a while. Jagr has gone on record as wanting to play until he hits 60, which would sound ridiculous were it not for the fact that he’s still one of the most dominant players in the game.
“First of all, I’m never happy because I’m trying to reach my top potential,” Jagr said. “I’m always chasing my maximum, so that’s why I’m never going to be happy because it’s impossible to reach it. It’s very high.”
If there was a downside to Jagr’s season, it was found in the post-season. He was disappointed to not find twine, but he did post two assists in the six-game run against New York. Next season, you can bet he’ll be adding a playoff goal or two to his list of incentives.