Jaromir Jagr will return for a 24th season in the NHL after reportedly agreeing to a one-year, $1 million deal with up to $1 million in bonuses with the Calgary Flames on Monday, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
Even at 45, Jagr continued to be an effective offensive presence for the Florida Panthers. He appeared in every game last season, registering 16 goals and 30 assists. His 46 points were fourth-highest on the team.
Given his age, retirement will continue to be a question for Jagr every offsesaon. Most signs pointed to his return to Florida, though.
"When I said I want to play until 50 everybody laughed at me," he said, according to Sportsnet's Rory Boylen. "But I'll work every day to do it."
A few months later, he discussed his enjoyment with playing on the Panthers, per the Sun Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov: "I still love the game and still want to get better every day I step on the ice. This organization was so good to me. They give me a chance; they traded for me. I love it. I play with very good talented players the last few years here. I love it and nothing has changed."
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was equally open to Jagr's return.
"It's a matter of what's best for Jaromir," he said in an interview with Sportsnet (via Fialkov). "He had another good year, 46 points and played all 82 games without Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. If it makes sense for both of us, we'll probably do something."
However, the two sides couldn't work out a deal, and Florida's loss is Calgary's gain.
Even into his 40s, Jagr has remained remarkably consistent. Since returning to the NHL in 2011, he has averaged 0.73 points per game, per Hockey Reference, and never finished with fewer than 16 goals in a season.
Jagr will add to Calgary's depth in their forward lines, and his presence should be a positive influence in the locker room.