With a father from Sweden I was raised on non-traditional sports soccer, hockey, cross-country skiing. I liked all three and appreciated each of them equally until about 13 years ago, Jaromir Jagr changed all of that.
It was the mid 1990's, in a game against the Boston Bruins and a guy wearing #68 carried the puck from one corner all the way to the blueline and back to the other corner, to goal eventually scoring.
That was all it took, I was hooked not only to a certain player but the game. The intense passion I now have for hockey all started because of Jaromir Jagr.
Today, July 4th, which is my favorite holiday of the year has now been severely marred by the news of no longer being able to watch my favorite player. The Rangers or the Penguins or whoever had a chance at signing Jaromir Jagr and did not do everything they could to accomplish that goal and keep him in the NHL has done a huge disservice not only to their team but to hockey fans in general.
Jagr still has greatness in every touch of the puck, in every single stride. He brought something special to the NHL that no other player has replicated. The incredible moves, the lightning quick releases coming off the boards, were truly one of a kind. The strength and poise Jaromir possesses has been unmatched by any other player.
I truly wish him all the best in Russia and hockey fans who love the beautiful aspects of the game will surely miss him.