Welcome to Boston, Jaromir Jagr
The new Boston Bruins forward is a blast from the past.
“I have two Stanley Cup rings. I don’t need more rings. I just need money and beaches and girls.”
Jaromir Jagr, who the Bruins acquired in a trade on Tuesday, uttered those words in 1992, shortly after he helped the Penguins win their second straight Stanley Cup. “Tyler Seguin was not alive for the first,” Ryan Lambert pointed out on Tuesday, “six months old for the second.” Back then, the Czech-born right winger was 20. That’s a year younger than Seguin is now. He had a flowing mullet and was capable of scoring goals like this one, which beat the Bruins in Game 1 of the ’92 Wales Conference finals:
Today, Jagr is 41. His mullet is gone, and so is some of his flash. But he’s a Bruin now. So, here are a few things you should know about him:
He wears No. 68 for a reason. According to E.M. Swift’s Sports Illustrated profile—which also contained the amazing “money and beaches and girls” quote—Jagr chose his unique number to honor the Prague Spring of 1968. “Jaromir Jagr, the hockey player, never knew Jaromir Jagr, the farmer,” Swift wrote. “The grandson was born in 1972. The grandfather died in 1968, by coincidence during the glorious days of the Czechoslovakian freedom movement known as the Prague Spring. ‘He never knew that the Russians came back,’ Jagr says. But, of course, they did come back, and Jagr’s grandmother made sure that he knew how, on Aug. 20-21, 1968, the troops rolled through Czechoslovakia to squash that fledgling movement in less than 48 hours.”
He’s a prolific scorer. Jagr is eighth all-time in career points with 1,679. He’s scored 679 goals, which is 10th all-time and first among active players. This year, he has 14 goals. (That ties him with Boston’s Brad Marchand for the team lead.)
He likes teasing goalies. Last year, after his teammate, Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov said that the only thing he was scared of was bears in the forest, Jagr took to the Internet. “Bryz is scared of bears,” he tweeted. “There were like 70 bears at the game! I wonder what would happen if he said he is scared of beautiful naked girls?!”
He’s full of wisdom. When WEEI host Gerry Callahan was at SI, he profiled Jagr, who at one point says, “I love this game, and I wish I could play forever. But I know it’s impossible. I won’t be young, and I won’t be healthy. I know I’ll have to quit. I know it can’t be like this forever.” That was in 1995.