NHL: Jaromir Jagr among the immortals in Pittsburgh

Jaromi Jagr is now an immortal in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins organization retired the legendary Czech player’s number 68 on Sunday before their game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Atop the PPG Paints Arena, his number 68 joins the banners of Michel Brière’s number 21 and Mario Lemieux’s number 66. We’re betting that Marc-André Fleury’s #29, Kristopher Letang’s #58, Evgeni Malkin’s #71 and Sidney Crosby’s #87 should soon be part of this select group when they decide to retire.

“The 11 years I spent here have been incredible. They were probably the best years of my life, so thank you for that,” Jagr responded as he addressed the crowd.

Several of his former Penguins teammates were in Pittsburgh for the ceremony. Most were members of the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup championships.

In a 24-season NHL career, Jagr spent his first 11 in a uniform for the Penguins, who selected him fifth overall in the 1990 draft.

He is fourth in Penguins history in points (1,079), behind Lemieux (1,723), Crosby (1,556) and Malkin (1,270).

He won five Art Ross Trophies, two Ted Lindsay (formerly Pearson) Trophies and one Hart Trophy during his time in Pittsburgh. Notably, he won four consecutive scoring championships between the 1997-1998 and 2000-2001 seasons. Jaromir Jagr during his number retirement ceremony

Jagr left the Penguins when, for salary cap management reasons, the team traded him to Washington. He could have returned to Pittsburgh in the summer of 2011, but he opted to sign with Philadelphia. Non pas parce qu’il n’appréciait pas son ancienne organisation, but parce qu’il croyait encore avoir le talent pour jouer au plus high level, tandis que des jeunes comme Sidney Crobsy et Evgeni Malkin, dans leur vingtaine, représentaient désormais le visage of the team.

Unwilling to accept a center role on the third or fourth line, Jagr joined the Flyers. He was often booed during his visits to the steel city, an uncomfortable situation.

“I wouldn’t say I was selfish, but I thought about myself,” Jagr said. “Maybe it was a mistake… I don’t know. »

In the end, it was nothing to tarnish the huge impact he had in Pittsburgh.

“When we look at the great history of hockey, his name is among those that always come to mind,” Sidney Crosby said. “His time here, the impact he’s had, what he’s accomplished in his career, it’s incredible. I think we all consider ourselves lucky to witness this special event. »

The Kings spoil the party

Despite this evening of tribute to Jagr, the Penguins could not enjoy the victory and had to admit defeat 2-1.

Pittsburgh, whose only scorer in the game was Sidney Crosby, lost for the fourth time in its last five games. The team will face the New York Islanders on Tuesday, before hosting the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

With the Penguins seemingly clinging to their one-goal lead in the second half of the third period, Adrian Kempe scored twice in a 3:01 span to quickly put Los Angeles in the driver’s seat.

Cam Talbot stopped 29 pucks to enjoy his first win since Dec. 23, 2023. Talbot had suffered a loss in each of his last 11 starts.

At the other end of the ice, Tristan Jarry gave up twice on 33 shots.

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