Jaromir Jagr now second to only one

Other than a short three-day break it was business as usual for the NHL over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. There were some newsworthy events such as the Columbus Blue Jackets extending their winning streak to 15 games, the Minnesota Wild having theirs snapped at 12 contests, and a couple of outdoor games. However, the most significant accomplishment over the past couple of weeks was 44-year-old winger Jaromir Jagr of the Czech Republic climbing into second place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. He achieved the feat with an assist in a home game against the Boston Bruins on December 22nd.

There’s now just one player between the Florida Panther veteran and the number one position and that’s a fellow by the name of Wayne Gretzky. With 2,857 points to his name in 1,487 games played, Gretzky was still 966 points ahead of Jagr’s 1,891 points. As of January 1st, Jagr had 756 goals and 1,135 assists. Jagr stood number three on the all-time goals list behind Gretzky’s 894 and Gordie Howe’s total of 801. As for assists, Jagr was fifth o the list behind Gretzky (1,963), Ron Francis (1,249), Mark Messier (1,193) and Ray Bourque (1,169).

Nobody has scored more important goals in NHL history though as Jagr has 133 game-winners under his belt with Phil Esposito being second on the list with 118. Jagr was also ranked in the top-five when it came to games played as he was fourth on the list with 1,667. The only players to appear in more NHL regular-season contests have been Howe (1,767), Messier (1,756) and Francis (1,731). There’s an excellent chance that Jagr will eventually play the most games in NHL history since he doesn’t have any plans of retiring son.

In fact, Jagr already would be the record holder for games played if he hadn’t left the NHL in 2008 to play in the KHL for three seasons before returning to North America. Jagr was taken with the fifth-overall pick in the 1990 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. It didn’t take long for the youngster to prove that he belonged in the world’s best hockey league as he banged in 27 goals and 30 assists in 1990/91 as a rookie. Jagr has scored more than 100 points in a season on five occasions with his best campaign being 62 goals along with 87 assists for 149 points in 1995/96 with Pittsburgh.

Jagr has spent time with numerous NHL clubs as he’s also played with the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. He’s also played in 208 career postseason games with 78 goals and 123 assists for 201 points. Jagr’s trophy cabinet includes five Art Ross awards for leading the league in point scoring, three Hart Trophies as the NHL’s most valuable player, three Lester B. Pearson Awards for being the NHL’s best player and a trio of Ted Lindsay Awards for being the top goal scorer in a season. He’s scored the most overtime goals in regular-season play in history and is the oldest player to record three goals in a game.

As far as team achievements go, the future Hall of Famer won two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh, two Olympic medals, four IIHF World Championship medals and a IIHF World Junior Championship medal. There’s no doubt Jagr will go down in history as one of the world’s greatest hockey players due to his longevity and production. As of New Year’s Day he had 23 points in 38 games and claims he plans on playing until the age of 50. If he does, Jagr should creep a couple of hundred points closer to Gretzky, but it’s highly doubtful he’ll ever catch him. It certainly would have been interesting though if he didn’t trade three seasons of NHL hockey for the KHL.