“I have a responsibility to the club, otherwise I wouldn’t fly here, and I wouldn’t make a fool of myself. But if I quit, the partners and sponsors would leave, and the club could be finished, ”Jagr said. Said Pavel Barta of The Hockey News.
” I do not have a choice. People don’t understand it, but I don’t care. Only God will judge me. I expect a lot more from myself, and I also believe that I have it in me. “
Jagr is the majority owner of his hometown team, Kladno, which he took over from his father in 2011. He has played for the club since leaving the NHL in 2018.
Kladno was relegated from the top Czech league after the 2019-2020 campaign and played in the Chance Liga second division last season. Jagr helped guide the team to a league with 12 points in 19 games, elevating the club to the Czech La Liga for the upcoming campaign.
With the promotion, Jagr admits that he feels it is his responsibility to the fans and the club to keep playing to make sure his popularity doesn’t wane, even if his game is on the decline.
“At the same time, people always expect it from me, and that’s probably the worst feeling – when people think I can, but I know I can’t,” Jagr said. “Besides, I can’t even tell them. I just know I’ll do my best to help the club. I don’t know if anyone can understand my role. I don’t even want to be in such a position, but I have no choice. As long as my dad is breathing, I take the club as my responsibility. He held it for 20 years. As a son, I would be embarrassed if I left. “
Jagr turns 50 on February 15, 2022. The right-winger began his professional hockey career with Kladno in 1988 and has been playing ever since. Jagr has played in 1,733 career NHL games, totaling 766 goals and 1,921 points.