As he continues to topple NHL records of the past, Jaromir Jagr is looking to the future.
In an interview with Czech Sport Daily, the living legend said he is considering a return to international competition this spring and has a good feeling he’ll be back with the Florida Panthers next fall.
“The chances that I will sign new contract with Florida are pretty good,” Jagr, 43, told the European outlet Tuesday.
The workaholic winger has been skating on Florida’s top line, centred by Aleksander Barkov and flanked on the left by Jonathan Huberdeau. Even when you combine their ages, the forwards are still younger than their right winger.
Jagr will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but Panthers GM Dale Tallon expressed interest in bringing him back last month.
“From what I’ve seen and what has gone on, it would be tremendous to have him back here,” Tallon told the Miami Herald.
Jagr sees a promising future for a Panthers team that has been eliminated from post-season contention.
“Too bad it didn’t work out this year, but the weather and the crew (full of young players) there is excellent,” Jagr posted on his Facebook page Sunday.
“I think in two years, the Florida Panthers can think about the Stanley Cup.”
With the Panthers out, Jagr is now considering playing for the national team at this year’s world championships, which will be hosted in Prague and Ostrava in his native Czech Republic.
“I will join the team, [but] it is not certain that I will play at the championships,” Jagr told the Sport Daily. First, he’d like to speak with Czech manager Vladimir Ruzicka, who was Jagr’s teammate on the 1998 Olympic gold medal team. “I will prepare and we will see how it all works out.”
(with translation from Reuters)