Hockey fossil Jaromir Jagr is 45-years-old and potentially playing his final NHL season with the Calgary Flames. How has the ageless Jagr, the NHL’s second leading point getter of all-time, lasted this long?
Jagr has committed to a healthy lifestyle that includes no smoking or drinking alcohol. He also has dedicated himself to a rigid workout routine that sometimes extends late into the night and after games.
Monday, after receiving 14:43 time on ice from head coach Glen Gulutzan, Jagr took questions postgame while pedaling on an exercise bike outside the locker room.
The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan snapped the only photo.
Jaromir Jagr, holding court on an exercise bike. pic.twitter.com/eo8ZTwvfzW
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 21, 2017
The Capitals posted Jagr’s interview.
Jagr, while breathing heavily, spoke about the adjustments he needed to make while playing on the Flames’ third line.
“The thing is, when you play on the first line, you play a lot more minutes,” Jagr said. “You know you get more chances to do something. You don’t have to go all out on every shift. On the third line you have to. I have to practice differently.”
As Jagr’s career has careened into his mid-40s, his dedication to the sport has only increased. NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman wrote about some of the offbeat things Jagr would do to stay on the top of his game with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jagr occasionally will skate and work out at the Flyers’ practice site late at night; in fact, getting 24-hour access to the practice facility was a requirement in his contract.
He joked earlier this season that he enjoyed the late-night ice time because “the ice is free.”
In reality, it’s something Jagr said he’s done at previous stops in his NHL career, and something he feels he has to do now that he’s turning 40.
“You have to practice a lot harder. I know that,” he said. “You’ve got to love the game so much that even if you’re tired, you still have to go there. Sometimes I don’t want to go run at night, but I know if I don’t do it, tomorrow I’m going to feel worse than I did the night before. That’s what’s pushing me.
“You have to have the will to do it, even if your body doesn’t want to. You still have to push yourself and work even harder. If I’m not able to push myself, I think I’m going to quit. When you feel tired and you don’t push yourself, it’s time to retire because you’re not going to get better. There’s no miracles. You’re not going to wake up the next day and feel 10 years younger.”
No matter how you feel about the man, Jagr’s commitment to the game is unmatched.
Headline photo: @ikhurshudyan
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