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Jagr Shares Troubling Story About Why He’s Still Playing Hockey

Jaromir Jagr is still playing professional hockey at the age of 49, but admits he wouldn’t be if he felt he had a choice. So, why play?

Former NHL great and dynamic superstar Jaromir Jagr spoke recently about still playing professional hockey at the age of 49 years old. Most assume it’s his love of the game that’s got him performing well beyond the age many would have long since retired. Unfortunately, it’s not about his passion for the game that keeps him going. It’s a feeling of guilt and a commitment to his team and the business relationships that team has built that is forcing him to keep going.

Jagr recently spoke with The Hockey News about his career and admitted he wouldn’t be playing if he felt he had a choice. Jagr is quoted as saying, “I don’t know if I would still play, if I’d still find desire for hockey.” He asked: “Do you know why I’m still playing?” He answered his own question by saying, “I have a responsibility to the club, otherwise I wouldn’t fly here and I wouldn’t be making a fool of myself.”

Jaromir Jagr NHL career
Jaromir Jagr NHL career

Unfortunately, he also noted that if he quits, his partners and sponsors would leave and the club might fold. “I have no choice,” he said. He explained that he gets people won’t understand his commitment to the club, but that doesn’t bother him. All he know is that he has to keep going for his father to spent 20 years building the program into what it has become. “As long as my father breathes, I take the club as my responsibility. He held it for 20 years. As a son, I would be embarrassed if I left,” he noted.

The Game Is No Longer Easy

Jagr has remained a productive player. He scored two goals and 12 points in 19 regular-season games this year and added two goals and 10 points in 16 playoff games. That said, the game is no longer clicking for him like it used to. He noted how much harder he has to work to stay in shape and how much more he has to practice jus to try and keep up.

Jagr explained that it used to be that if he wanted to score a goal, he could. Today, that’s no longer the case. “But suddenly, this doesn’t work,” he said.

He’s still got the drive not to embarrass himself or his club, but he seems to be losing the motivation to play hockey for the love of the game, which is incredibly sad considering how long he played the sport at such a high level.

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