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Jaromir Jagr, 45, optimistic on playing in NHL this season

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The Sports Xchange
Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers waits for the drop of the puck to start a game against the St. Louis Blues last season. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers waits for the drop of the puck to start a game against the St. Louis Blues last season. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Free agent forward Jaromir Jagr still has hope with latching on to an NHL team sometime this season.

The 45-year-old is the second-leading scorer in NHL history, but has understandably slowed considerably as the league has sped up.

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Jagr played the past three seasons for the Florida Panthers, who decided not to resign him after a relatively productive 16 goals and 30 assists last season.

He said Friday that he would not play Saturday for Rytiri Kladno, a second-tier Czech team that he owns, because he is waiting to see how discussions with NHL teams pan out.

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"I won't play for Kladno because there are still some negotiations in the NHL," Jagr said, according to iDNES.cz. "Those teams don't want me to play here and I have to respect that.

"It is unpleasant because people expected I would play. On the other hand, we haven't promised anything to anybody. It would make no sense to meddle in something when I'm not 100 percent sure that I stay here. I don't (want to) interfere with someone who has a roster spot (in Kladno)."

The St. Louis Blues are reportedly one of the teams interested in Jagr after it was announced winger Robby Fabbri would miss the season with an injury.

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"He's a great player," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "Certainly, we've talked internally about him, as well as a number of players. But we're really going to have to dig deep into how our style of play is and what type of players can come in and complement our style."

Jagr has 1,914 points (765 goals, 1,149 assists) in 23 NHL seasons with seven teams. He became the second-leading scorer in NHL history last season when he passed Mark Messier (1,887 points) on Dec. 22 to trail only Wayne Gretzky (2,857).

Jagr is third on the NHL all-time goals list, behind Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801), and fifth in assists behind Gretzky (1,963), Ron Francis (1,249), Messier (1,193) and Ray Bourque (1,169).

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