Jaromir Jagr has now scored his first goal as a member of the Florida Panthers.
That, in itself, is impressive enough. He’s now scored as a member of eight separate NHL franchises, and — as a two-time Stanley Cup champion — he’s got more than enough to write home about.
Now, though, he’s earned yet another bit of recognition.
With his goal on Sunday afternoon, Jagr moves to fifth overall in all-time goal scoring by NHLers. He’s tied with Phil Esposito, notching 717 goals (and, clearly counting).
That’s quite a bit.
Jagr was moved to the Panthers earlier this week, after a chat with the media revealed that he saw his usage on the New Jersey Devils — who he was about to complete his second season with — was diminishing in a desperate hunt to see the post-season. He admitted that when coaching changes happen — something the Devils witnessed this season with the dismissal of head coach Peter DeBoer on Boxing Day — veteran players sometimes see themselves worked out of the lineup; as no stranger to the way things would play out, Jagr said that he wanted to head elsewhere.
It’s been a joke that Jagr’s age is brought up too often — most recently when he debuted on a line with twenty-one year old Jonathan Huberdeau and nineteen-year-old Aleksander Barkov, whose combined ages were still two years younger than Jagr is himself — but in the same weekend that a thirty-four-year old Dany Heatley was packaged into a deal as an afterthought, it stands to show exactly how impressive Jagr’s career span is. At a hair shy of forty-three, he’s nearly six years older than the next oldest player on the Florida roster.
Of course, his impressive accolades only further the threat that Florida poses over teams like the Boston Bruins, who are struggling to find cap space and the ability to re-sign pending players in the face of an uncertain post-season.