Jagr not against number being retired
Jaromir Jagr is open to having the Penguins retire his No. 68.
“(But) it's not up to me,” Jagr said Thursday, expressing emotion while recalling his 11-year Penguins career.
Now with the New Jersey Devils, his sixth NHL club since the Penguins traded him in 2001, Jagr stressed he is “not thinking about retirement.”
His legacy with the franchise for which he won two Stanley Cup titles, five scoring titles and an MVP was on his mind hours before the Devils and Penguins were set to open their regular seasons.
“(Retiring my number) will be up to the organization and how they feel,” he said of the Penguins. “Lately, the fans don't really appreciate me here, so I don't know if it would be a good idea.”
Jagr was a more blunt about his picture being removed from the Penguins' locker room. It had been there for the first three seasons at Consol Energy Center but has been replaced by an image of former Penguins star Mark Recchi.
“Whatever,” Jagr said.
Jagr's likeness still remains outside the locker room, and Penguins officials said it would be placed again inside the dressing room after his retirement.
Jagr spoke at length about his affection for Pittsburgh sports fans, smiling and looking sentimental while he praised the city.
“They love their sports,” Jagr said. “They always loved the Steelers. Now they love the Pirates. (Penguins co-owner) Mario (Lemieux) brought the fans here for hockey. I never had issues with the fans. They treated us so well during those years, obviously. We always made the playoffs, so they were always excited. They're crazy sports fans. And that's good.”
Jagr, 42, is near the end of his career. Since playing with the Penguins from 1990-2001, he has become a polarizing figure to fans who once donned mullets in his honor.
It appeared Jagr was going to sign with the Penguins in 2011, but he spurned their offer and signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. Jagr's Flyers defeated the Penguins in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.
A season later, his Boston Bruins prevented the Penguins from making a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
Jagr acknowledged that his behavior “15 years ago” was different and that he has matured.
“I don't mind (New Jersey's anti-superstar system) at all,” Jagr said. “Maybe it would be different 15 years ago. Right now, I agree with how they do it. (New Jersey general manager) Lou (Lamoriello) wants everybody to feel important to his team, from the first-line guys to the fourth-line guys. That's the way it should be.
“People think differently when they're young. You're more selfish when you're younger. You want to be treated different. That's the way I was, at least. Now I see that I was wrong.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Sutter is determined to keep scoring pressure on
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- Penguins notebook: Crosby ‘confident’ despite limited preseason time
- With analytics, NHL is whole new game
- Despres is relishing his regular role on Penguins’ blue line
- Penguins notebook: Wild beat Pens behind Pominville’s hat trick
- Healthy again, Penguins’ Dupuis eager for game action
- Wings coach Babcock does not hide affection for Penguins’ Crosby
- Ex-assistant Granato: No animosity toward Penguins
- Apparent knee injury leaves Penguins’ Bennett in limbo
- Penguins’ Kapanen bolsters chance to make team in exhibition win