Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven

One of my favourite things about older players is that they’re more prone to honesty, given everything they’ve been through in the NHL. They’ve built their reputations, proven themselves, and tend to open up a little bit more as they get on in years.

Jaromir Jagr is one of those “on in years” players, and in reflecting on his time with the New York Rangers prior to playing them in a best-of-seven series (starting tonight), he made some awfully interesting comments about himself.

Here are the quotes, as given to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com (stick-tap to Pro Hockey Talk):

“I have a lot of good memories in New York. All of the years, we made the playoffs. In the first year nobody believed we could make the playoffs, and we did it. My first year was Hank’s first year and Tom Renney’s first year as a coach,” Jagr said. “We had such a good group of players and we surprised everybody. Such good memories in that hockey time for me.

“But now it’s a different story. I’m not good now. I was a lot better hockey player then, when I was in New York. Of course I’m different. I am honest. I cannot lie.”

“But now it’s a different story. I’m not good now.”

Is this fishing? Does dude want us to pat him on the back and tell him how amazing he still is? Or are his personal standards so high that he means it? Or does he want us to say “if this is him bad, how terrible should we feel about our own games?” I’m aware he’s not at the level he was with New York, but not good?

I dunno. All I know is that’s one hell of a quote from one hell of a player.

“I’m not good now.” Whatever you say, Jaromir.

Comments (12)

  1. When he first started on the Bruins and was skating on a line with Seguin, a reporter asked Seguin what him and Jagr were talking about on the bench between shifts and Seguin said something along the lines of: “Jags was telling me he’s sorry I have to play with him.” I think Jagr truly believes he’s not that great anymore. His puck possession and vision is still better than most and he does seem to make others around him better.

  2. It really sucks he sees himself in this way, but I see it as a true mark of greatness. Despite his aging body and slowly declining skills, he keeps his own standard at what he set in his prime years with the Rangers (and Pens, of course). It may be unrealistic, but it shows a real drive and motivation that sheds light on why NHL teams will still lure him to their rosters.

    Unlike most Pens fans, I wish him well and the best of luck. I hope we still hear from him when he retires from the NHL but still laces up for his home team back in the Czech Republic.

  3. I agree that his own standards are very high. You see it on his face every shift when he misses a shot or comes back to the bench after a dump-in, unable to make a play to penetrate the other team’s zone. I think being unable to make a significant contribution for this team in the playoffs is weighing on him. He wants to be more than an Iginla consolation prize.

    The other side of that coin (as another poster on PHT pointed out), to be effective he needs to play with better and more offensively-gifted players. He knows that and that is why he wanted to be traded to a contender in the first place. He doesn’t want to be a passenger on this team’s Cup run, but Julien isn’t playing to his strengths, either.

    • “more offensively-gifted players” was not the best choice of words, as Tyler Seguin is most certainly an offensively-gifted player. More like-minded, East-West type of player is more accurate.

      • He barely played with Seguin before getting put on the third line to help beef them up. Claude Julien has been moving him around to fill holes in the offense. Hes definitely along for the ride. Looks like tonight he will be back in the top 6 on the Bergeron line so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.

  4. I remember from his days with the rangers that he has exceptionally high standards of himself and has great honesty about what he is and is not good at. He (and Renney) would get railed on for Jagr not being one of the first 3 in the shootout but would fully admit that he’s not good at the shootouts and that it wouldn’t help the team win the game.

    I def. don’t think this is a guy who says things like this to get media to write glowing articles about his humility or skill. I think he’s just incredibly honest about the state of his game now opposed to where he once was.

  5. As a Leafs fan (recovery from emotional trauma pending), while he didn’t quite torch us on the scoreboard–four assists in seven games–his ability to hold onto the puck at length is still there. Jagr can turn his back to you and play keepaway by himself for as long as he wants. I think he might be thinking a little too much and hanging onto it too long–maybe because he wants to make brilliant plays instead of just good ones. But he’s still dangerous by any measure.

  6. Pure honesty is all you ever get from Jaromir Jagr.

    It’s got to be tough to go up against these young whippersnappers and not be able to dance around them like he used to. He sounds like one frustrated guy.

    Instead of losing his composure and smashing sticks, this is the way he vents, class all the way.

  7. He had a frustrating first round, but a pretty solid season all in all. Sounds like a guy being too hard on himself. But hey, that’s Jaromir.

  8. He does suck. I’m glad someone sees it

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