The Calgary Flames have ended everyone’s suffering by agreeing to sign Jaromir Jagr to a one-year, $1 million contract. Yes, we will start the new hockey season with Jagr still in the NHL. We can all breathe a wonderful sigh of relief at that fact.
In Jagr’s 24th NHL season, he’ll play for his ninth team. After 24 years, the Flames will be Jagr’s first-ever Canadian team, marking yet another milestone in his long NHL career.
It’s been 27 years since Jagr entered the NHL. Many of us, including some of your favorite hockey players, weren’t even on this planet when Jagr first stepped on NHL ice. Such is the case for Matthew Tkachuk, a 19-year-old forward with the Flames who will have the chance to play with Jagr this upcoming season.
Incredibly, Jagr has a connection to the Tkachuk family. Keith Tkachuk, Matthew’s father, was drafted in the same year as Jagr. The pair were both drafted in the first round of the 1990 NHL draft, just 14 spots apart from one another. Jagr was drafted as the fifth overall pick in 1990 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, while Keith Tkachuk was picked at the 19th overall spot by the Winnipeg Jets.
Now, Matthew Tkachuk will play on the same team with a draft-mate of his father’s, and it’s Jagr no less. That’s quite the sign of Jagr’s longevity in the league, and his impact on the NHL as a whole.
The NHL is much richer for having Jagr in their league, and not just because of quirky little facts such as these.