Sen­a­tors marvel at Jagr’s ‘as­ton­ish­ing’ longevity

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - BRUCE GAR­RIOCH bgar­rioch@post­media.com

CALGARY The Ottawa Sen­a­tors have noth­ing but re­spect for Jaromir Jagr.

In fact, they marvel that the 45-year-old is back in the league for his 24th NHL sea­son af­ter mak­ing his de­but with the Calgary Flames on Wed­nes­day night in Los An­ge­les against the Kings.

The Sen­a­tors are look­ing for­ward to get­ting a first-hand look Fri­day night as their three-game Western Canada road swing con­tin­ues against the Flames at the Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome.

Jagr has 765 goals and 1,149 as­sists for 1,914 points in 1,712 ca­reer NHL games. It’s in­cred­i­ble, re­ally. “It’s pretty cool. To see a guy play­ing at the age of 45 is pretty in­sane,” said winger Mark Stone af­ter the Sen­a­tors’ skate at the Stam­pede Cor­ral on Thurs­day.

“He’s been able to keep his body in tremen­dous shape.

“It’s al­ways cool to play against a guy who’s sec­ond in points all time be­hind Wayne Gret­zky.”

It was pointed out to Stone that Jagr played his first game with the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins in the 1990-91 sea­son, be­fore the 25-year-old was even born. He has 44 goals and 46 as­sists for 90 points in 78 ca­reer games against the Sen­a­tors.

“He played a lot of games be­fore a lot of guys were born in this league,” added Stone.

“I don’t know how many he’s played, but if he had those three years where he played back in Rus­sia (in the KHL) he might have played even more.”

Jagr didn’t have any points in his de­but with the Flames in Los An­ge­les and played a lit­tle more than 13 min­utes while skat­ing with Kris Ver­steeg and Sam Ben­nett.

“He’s Jagr. They’re go­ing to get great puck pos­ses­sion, a big body that can hold onto it, a guy that has some of­fence and a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence. They’ve got him on their third line and they’ve got more depth,” said coach Guy Boucher.

“I’m only a year older than (Jagr) and I feel 20 years older. I get up in the morn­ing and my good­ness, I can’t be­lieve he’s still go­ing.

“It’s a trib­ute, not just to the player, but to per­sis­tence and all the qual­i­ties that make for a su­per­star and be­ing able to sus­tain that is just ab­so­lutely as­ton­ish­ing.”

MARK J. TERRILL/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

At 45 years of age, Calgary Flames for­ward Jaromir Jagr is play­ing in his 24th NHL sea­son.

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