It’s all over for Jaromir Jagr and the NHL. The 45-year-old future Hall of Famer was placed on waivers by the Calgary Flames yesterday afternoon and, as of 12pm ET today, the veteran officially cleared. Technically he can now be assigned by the Flames to their AHL affiliate the Stockton Heat, but it’s much more likely that the Flames will take the next step in the process to terminate Jagr’s contract.
Once freed from his NHL deal with the Flames Jagr will be allowed to pursue options in Europe, with most experts predicting that he’ll wind up with his hometown HC Kladno. Jagr is a part-owner of the Kladno organization, so it seems like a natural fit.
Regardless, it’s hard to see today’s news as anything other than a massive disappointment. While most fans and analysts expected Jagr to go unclaimed, Jagr diehards were still holding out hope that the fan favorite would catch on with another NHL team, particularly a team in need of veteran help. In the end, Jagr’s age, his deteriorating health and the structure of his bonus-laden contract made acquiring too big of a risk for any GMs.
So, what’s next? Well... according to multiple reports, Jagr is almost assuredly headed back home to Kladno.
So long, Jammy. Thanks for all the memories, you've been a staple of the game since 1991 and you've won over thousands, if not millions, of hockey fans during your career. All the best in the future and we'll see you in the Hall of Fame!