The best is yet to come for the Bruins, according to newly acquired 41-year-old winger Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr skated with his new team for the first time this morning, and addressed the media in the locker room after the session. He spoke about the type of hockey player he is now, in his 19th year in the league.
Jagr, who recently recorded his 1,000th assist (to go with 679 goals), said he’s not the same player he was in his heyday.
“I’m not the guy who wanted to score the most goals in the league or score the most points in the league,” Jagr said. “Don’t take it wrong, I like to score, but there’s more important things for me, the whole picture, as a team, and to win as a team. [In] that kind of way, I changed a lot.”
Jagr, on his sixth NHL team, is happy to be with a Bruins team poised to contend for the Stanley Cup.
“I [don’t have] a no-trade clause so I guess wherever Dallas got the best opportunity, they took it,” Jagr said. “But I’m happy about it. You don’t ask questions, you just go to play. Through my whole hockey career … wherever I played, it was good for me, so I have to knock [on wood]. I know it’s going to be good. Maybe not from the start, but at the end, it’s going to be great.”
Jagr said he’s healthy and sees no reason to give up the game he loves any time soon.
“I love to play,” Jagr said. “If I feel healthy and I feel like I can play on some kind of good level, I want to keep playing, if I can get an opportunity to play. I’m not going to say anything [like] I’m retiring because I’m not ready for it. I love the game too much, so if I’m not good for [the] NHL, I’m going to go and play in the Czech League or somewhere else but I still love the game and like everybody else, if you love something, you just don’t want to let it go. You hold it till you can.”
The nine-time NHL All-Star compared the move to Boston to joining the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011 after playing three years in the Kontinental Hockey League. And he cherishes the role of teacher at this point in his storied career.
“I was in the same situation in Philadelphia last year,” Jagr said. “I was so happy when I see the other guys play with me or my teammates, doing so good. When they did interviews [in Philadelphia], they said, ‘Jagr helped us.’ So, that’s what makes me also happy, not just scoring goals but you can help. I know I can help. There’s a lot of young guys.
“I’ve learned a lot of stuff through my hockey career. I played for 23 years already professional and I’ve played with so many great players and I’ve learned so much stuff and you can always learn. No matter how old you are, you can always learn. If someone thinks he knows everything when he’s 25, he’s lying to himself or he’s dumb. So, you can always learn and I’m here to teach the guys and tell them what I have to go through and make their hockey life easier.”
We’ll see if things get easier for the Bruins with Jagr in the lineup, starting tonight against the New Jersey Devils. Jagr will debut on a line with center Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand.