On just the third day of free agency this last summer, the most bizarre thing happened. JaromirJagr signed a contract with the Dallas Stars.
Once the fans of 29 other teams got over their disbelief, and we got over our initial excitement (though to be honest, have we really?), the question on everyone's mind was "Why the Stars?" Jaromir Jagr could have chosen to go to any team that he wanted to. It was expected that he would be re-signing with the Philadelphia Flyers for another season more than any other. Choosing the Stars seemingly came out of left field.
There are a couple of obvious reasons that can easily be stated. First, the Stars offered him plenty of money. $4.5 million was more than any other team was likely going to pay him. The second is ice time. The Stars had room for him on the top line and the first power play unit, while those spots may not have been as guaranteed on other teams.
But there is more to it than that, though. Nicholas Cotsonika interviewed Jagr, and believe he understand why he made the choice this summer:
Jagr said you look at hockey a little differently when you're older. When you're young, you don't think about the team. You're more selfish. But when you're older, you want to help the team. You want to do whatever it takes. You don't want to be the guy who made the mistake to lose the game.
You can wonder about that. If it's all about the team, why didn't Jagr go to a team with a better chance to win even if he had to accept a lesser role? Why didn't he stay in Philly?
Well, there is what you do when you choose a team and what you do once you're on one, and this is Jagr. He has a unique perspective, balancing the business and the sport. During the lockout, he played for the team he owns in his hometown of Kladno, Czech Republic. He helped revive a franchise, and he did it not just by showing up to play, but by playing a leading role and scoring 57 points in 34 games.
He loves a challenge. He loves to practice. He thinks age doesn't matter as long as you're healthy, and so he lives near the rink and works out late at night and wears his weighted vest after games. He wants to keep playing a leading role in the NHL before going back to Kladno again.
Jaromir Jagr Affects More Than Just The Score Sheet
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