Jaromir Jagr is back, baby! Sure, it's Calgary and the Flames are scheduled to appear on NBC or NBCSN exactly zero times this season, but at least Canadians will get to experience what could be his final NHL season. It's better than him settling for a spot on a European team so he can go to the Olympics and dominate American college students in the middle of the night here in North America.
While America will be denied the beauty of the 45-year-old mullet wooshing in the breeze, we can all agree that we'd like to see certain things out of Jagr's season. Here are 10 moments that would be wonderful to witness.
1) Jagr scores a goal — It would be comforting, you know? He missed training camp, signed late, started late, is old, so it'd be great to see an immediate sign that he's still got it. The last thing anyone wants from this potential final season is a bunch of healthy scratches, something that would be easier to do since Jagr is a luxury on a small contract. Let's get him going right away.
2) Jagr makes the playoffs — He has one forgettable postseason appearance since 2013, a six-game loss with the Panthers against the Islanders in 2016. He hasn't scored a playoff goal since 2012 but the Flames are a good bet to reach the playoffs this year. There's something sad when legends like Martin Brodeur and Jarome Iginla go out on bad teams; let's hope Jagr gets at least one round in April.
3) Jagr beats the shit out of someone — Look, I don't advocate fighting. I'd like it banned forever. But since the NHL still gives a five-minute break for anyone who drops the gloves, Jagr should have his first career NHL fight before moseying into the sunset.
He's never fought! You don't know what he can do with his fists. He has Old Man Strength. He's a large individual. What if he's an X-Man and he's never fought because he has mutant rock fists or something? Being a member of the X-Men would explain his longevity, too.
Maybe Zack Kassian runs Johnny Gaudreau from behind and suddenly Jagr comes to the rescue. He rag-dolls Kassian, his mullet flowing as they twirl at center ice to the delight of screaming Flames fans.
Just one fight. Come on.
4) Jagr is blackmailed again — That sexual blackmail story a couple years ago is endlessly funny. Jagr, a single adult, had sex with another adult, and someone was trying to blackmail him. "If you don't give us money, we will tell the world you had consensual sex with a model."
"Actually if you send me the picture, I'll tweet it out. I have like a million followers on Twitter."
Since it's the sequel, it can't be sex again. Jagr is a known fitness freak, so how about someone attempting blackmail with photos of him at a Taco Bell in the middle of the night? "Jagr claims to work out after hours, but the only thing he's working out is his mouth around some gorditas." And we can have the same response, with Jagr proudly declaring Taco Bell is why he's lasted so long in the NHL.
Honestly, I've always assumed Jagr had sex so the Taco Bell thing would be far more impressive.
5) Jagr goes to the All-Star Game — Well, there's no Olympics this year, so we better get Jagr to All-Star Weekend no matter his numbers during the first half. The NHL did the NHL thing of making it harder to vote "unworthy" players to the game, so if Jagr has 10 points in 30 games, I hope the NHL gets out of its own way and allows him to go to… wherever the All-Star Game is.
And Jags, we know you don't want to go, but just go. For us. Thanks.
6) Jagr goes to the Olympics — It's February, reporters are milling around the Flames locker room when they realize Jagr's locker is empty. Suddenly Flames general manager Brad Treliving walks into the room and says, "Oh did I not mention it? Yeah, part of the agreement with Jagr meant we let him go to the Olympics. Can't wait to see him in a couple weeks."
Then Jagr wins gold by scoring in overtime against Canada.
7) Jagr is still good at hockey — If Jagr truly is done and finds himself in the press box as a healthy scratch at times, that will be sad but understandable. The man is closer to 50 than 45, so there's no shame in a 25-point season. It will crush me like when Bruce Willis dies at the end of Armageddon. "IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR TIME YET DON'T LEAVE ME WITH BEN AFFLECK!!!"
I want something close to a 50-point season, depending on how many games he plays.
8) Jagr reaches the Stanley Cup Final — Because having the Flames win the Stanley Cup this year would be the definition of greedy. Let's just have Jagr get there and play the Penguins and whatever happens, happens. Two weeks of Jagr going against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The series ends in Pittsburgh, no matter which team wins. Let's dream big.
9) Jagr is shipped to a contender at the deadline — If the Flames are six points out of a wild-card spot at the deadline, they better trade Jagr to a playoff team. You're not making up that ground. You blew it. Give us a Jagr postseason run.
10) Jagr comes back for one more season — That's what we want more than anything, isn't it?
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