Jaromir Jagr, the NHL’s oldest active player at 45 years old, hit a milestone on Friday night by passing Gordie Howe for most points scored after the age of 40.
Jagr’s two assists gave him 269 points in his 40s, eclipsing Howe’s 268. After leading the Panthers in scoring last season, Jagr is fourth on the team with 39 points in 70 games this season — and he’s not ready to pack it in.
On more than one occasion, Jagr has talked about wanting to play until at least the age of 50. In December of 2016, he said he would “work every day” to play until that age.
“When I said I want to play until 50 everybody laughed at me, but I’ll work every day to do it,” he said.
After passing Howe on the 40-plus scoring record, Jagr again talked about playing into his 50s. He's not kidding, folks.
"I'm going to pass him for most points after 50," Jagr said post-game.
Howe played two full seasons in his 50s, though one of those in 1978-79 was with the WHA's New England Whalers. That team became the Hartford Whalers and joined the NHL in 1979-80, which was Howe's last in the league.
He scored 15 goals and 41 points in 80 games that season.
To pass Howe, Jagr will need to play at least five more seasons, unless he leaves for another league and comes back again at a later date, which seems unlikely at that advanced age. But to get more than the 41 NHL points Howe got in his 50s, Jagr would likely have to play a sixth season as well, since his birthday lands in February.
Second all-time in total NHL points to Wayne Gretzky, Jagr is a fitness freak, so while his run at this goal seems like a long shot given the speed and focus on youth in today's NHL game, he's adapted enough that he's still having success at 45.
Here's hoping he gets to 50 and does pass Howe there, too.