Jagr plays alongside Bennett, Versteeg at first Flames practice

Check it out, as newest Calgary Flame Jaromir Jagr goes for a quick jaunt around the Saddledome to test out the skates.

Jaromir Jagr skated with his new Calgary Flames teammates for the first time Thursday and the NHL’s elder statesman participated in drills on a line with Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg.

It’s unclear when the future Hall of Famer will make his Flames debut, but it could come as early as Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.

A Versteeg-Bennett-Jagr trio would likely serve as the team’s third line.

Curtis Lazar never managed to stake his claim as a third-line winger during training camp and the pre-season, which was a contributing factor in the Flames bringing Jagr into the fold. At Thursday’s skate, Lazar, who was acquired in a March trade with the Ottawa Senators, was on the outside looking in.

Since Jagr was a late arrival and didn’t get a proper training camp, he isn’t quite in game shape yet, which is why he won’t play until he feels ready.

Jagr, 45, spent much of the past two seasons playing on a line with Florida Panthers youngsters Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.

“Of course I (like playing with young players),” Jagr said Wednesday when he was officially introduced by the Flames. “Anybody compared to my age is young guy, so last 20 years I’ve played with young guys. Last two years in Florida I played with Huberdeau and Barkov, combine their age and they’re still younger than me.”

The combined age of Bennett and Versteeg is 52.

Upon learning of Jagr’s addition, Flames players weren’t shy about expressing their excitement to play with the NHL’s second leading scorer of all time.

“Having a guy like Jaromir come in at this time of the season shows that we want to have the pieces in place to try to win and we don’t want to wait and we’re excited about the challenge ahead,” Versteeg said when the signing was first reported.

It was apparent Thursday that Jagr will have an immediate impact on his new teammates.

Jagr’s one-year deal with the Flames has a $1-million cap hit with another $1 million in performance bonuses up for grabs.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston has more on this.

Jagr has said the 2017-18 campaign is “99.9 per cent” going to be his final season.


When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.