Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Jaromir Jagr

Today is the 38th birthday of Jaromir Jagr or as you will notice if you move the letters around you can call him Mario Jr.
Jágr wore the number 68, which he has worn through his entire career, in honor of the Prague Spring rebellion that occurred in Czechoslovakia in 1968, also the year in which his grandfather died while in prison
Jaromir made his name playing in Pittsburgh with the one of the greatest of all time, Mario Lemeiux. Now he wasnt just hanging on the the coattails of Mario he was truly a great athlete in his own right. After the return of Mario Lemieux from retirment in 2000 there was some friction between the 2 because of Jaormir having been the captain and felt he deserved to keep it but that strained his relationship with the fans and he was demanding even more money to sign a new contract and the Penguins could not afford his asking price. So the team traded him to the Washington Capitals.
The Caps signed him an 7 year 77 million dollar contract, at that time the largest contract ever in the NHL. After 3 contensious seasons with the Caps they decided to unload all the expensive talent they had aquired over the last 3 seasons to try and save money. The team was able to trade him to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter. Eventually after the retirement of Rangers captain Mark Messier, Jagr was named the 34th captain of the the Broadway Blueshirts.
On November 19, 2006, he scored his 600th career NHL goal on Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist, making him the 16th player in NHL history to do so. Power play linemate Brendan Shanahan had scored his 600th goal almost three weeks earlier, making them the first teammates in NHL history to score their 600th goal in the same season.
On April 5, 2007, against the Montreal Canadiens, Jágr scored his 30th goal of the 2006–07 NHL season to record 15 consecutive seasons of 30 or more goals. This tied the NHL record of consecutive 30-goal seasons held by Mike Gartner.
Jagr left the NHL after the 2008 season and finished his NHL career 13th all-time goals scored (646), 9th all-time in points (1599) and 7th all-time in points per game (1.256).
He also collected some hardware in his stellar NHL career:
Stanley Cup Winner – 1991, 1992 (Pittsburgh)
Hart Trophy (MVP) - 1999
Art Ross Trophy (Leading point scorer) - 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
Lester B. Pearson Award (Players' MVP) - 1999, 2000, 2006

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