The Pittsburgh Penguins will honor Jaromir Jagr, who won the Stanley Cup twice with the club, by retiring number 68. The NHL club announced that the Czech hockey forward’s number will rise to the ceiling of the hall on February 18 during a ceremony before the game against Los Angeles.
The now 51-year-old Jágr has played eleven out of a total of 24 seasons in the NHL since 1990 for Pittsburgh. He helped the Penguins win the first two Stanley Cups in club history in 1991 and 1992 and was also its captain at the end of his tenure with the team.
Jágr, who still hasn’t finished his career, will be honored as the fourth Czech hockey player in the NHL. In 2015, Dominik Hašek was honored in this way by Buffalo, and since 2018, the numbers of attackers Milan Hejduk in Colorado and Patrik Eliáš in New Jersey have been hanging from the ceiling of the hall.
The Penguins announced the retirement of Jágr’s jersey, among other things, with a video on the social network X, which exaggerates the moment when the club invites the Kladno native to a ceremony. “Pittsburgh? February 18th? OK, I’ll be there,” Jagr says into the phone before turning to the camera and telling fans, “Pittsburgh, I’m coming home.”
The future NHL star was selected fifth overall by the Penguins in the first round of the 1990 draft. Jágr played 806 games in the regular season in a jersey with a penguin on his chest and scored 1079 points (439+640).
He ranks among the top five in club history in games played (5th), goals scored (4th), assists (4th), points (4th), plus/minus rating (2nd) and game-winning goals (4th). He was one of the club’s 13 captains, he wore the badge in 1998-2001.
In his first two seasons in the NHL, the young Jagr helped Pittsburgh win two Stanley Cups. He shone especially in the playoffs in 1992, in which he scored 24 points (11+13) in 21 games.
In total, Jágr played 208 games in the elimination games and scored 201 points (78+123). He is one of six players in NHL history to reach the 200-point mark in the playoffs.
During his time in Pittsburgh, Jagr also won all five of his Art Ross Trophies for the league’s most productive player, and in 1999 he received the Hart Trophy for the best hockey player of the NHL season.
After leaving Pittsburgh in 2001, the star right winger played in the NHL for Washington, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, New Jersey, Florida and Calgary, with whose jersey he ended his career in the elite overseas competition in early 2018. He played in 1733 games and collected 1921 points for 766 goals and 1155 assists.
He is the second most productive player in the competition behind the unattainable Wayne Gretzky (2,857), fourth in games played and goals and fifth in assists. His 135 game-winning goals are an absolute NHL record.
Together with Jiří Šlégr, Jágr is one of two Czechs who are members of the so-called Triple Gold Club. Jagr was among them thanks to winning the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh, winning gold medals from the World Cup (2005 and 2010) and a historic triumph at the Nagano Olympic Games in 1998.
After finishing his career in the NHL, Jágr works in his parent club Rytíři Kladno, of which he is the owner. He last appeared in a match last season on April 21, when the Kladno hockey players defended their extra-league status in a tie with Zlín.