Wayne Gretzky

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Jagr tells Czech TV Olympics are an option if NHL doesn’t call

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Jaromir Jagr helped the Czech Republic win its first Olympic gold medal in hockey almost 20 years ago at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games, and if no NHL team comes calling this season, he may just try for another medal next year in PyeongChang.

Speaking in an interview with Czech TV Sports, the 13-time NHL all-star and two-time Stanley Cup champ said he would attempt to prolong his career in Europe if no NHL team extends him an offer, and if he was asked to help the Czech men’s team in PyeongChang, he’d be more than willing to suit up for his sixth Olympic hockey tournament this upcoming February.

Playing in all 82 games in 2016-17 with the Florida Panthers, Jagr became only the second player in NHL history to score 1,900 career points – second to only Wayne Gretzky (2,857) – according to Hockey-Reference.com.

The past two seasons Jagr had played under one-year deals with the Panthers. In the off-season, reports said the future hall of famer and the Panthers were on opposite sides of the aisle regarding his contract for the 2017-18 season. Jagr’s release was announced in July.

Prior to his release, Jagr had been having a bit of fun on Twitter regarding the lack of interest from NHL franchises.

Jagr does have at least one Olympic record within reach if he plays in PyeongChang. If the 45 year old can put the puck in the net in February he will become the oldest athlete to score a goal at the Olympics, beating the record set in Sochi by then 43-year-old Finland winger, Teemu Selanne.

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Wayne Gretzky compares Hayley Wickenheiser to NHL legend

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The greatest male hockey player of all time paid the greatest female player of all time quite the compliment at her retirement ceremony Saturday.

“You played with heart, desire, finesse, speed, skill,” Wayne Gretzky said to Hayley Wickenheiser. “The only other person, the greatest player to ever live, I think he would be happy if I said you were the female Gordie Howe. Congratulations.”

The Canadian legend Wickenheiser announced her retirement Friday, after six Olympics and four gold medals. On Saturday, she was honored before a Calgary Flames-Edmonton Oilers game. A highlight was a speech by Gretzky, who now works in the Oilers’ front office.

Wickenheiser’s first Olympics, Nagano 1998, marked the only Winter Games for Gretzky. Gretzky played in the first Olympics with NHL participation in Nagano, finishing fourth with Canada, and retired in 1999 without an Olympic medal.

“You’ve opened so many doors for so many young girls to be able to one day win a gold medal,” Gretzky said to Wickenheiser. “To me, that’s more important than anything.”

Wickenheiser then took the mic at center ice and reciprocated.

“A big part of why I play the game is because of this man standing right here, Wayne Gretzky,” she said, later adding, according to Canadian media, “In Salt Lake City [2002] when we won the gold medal, the first two people I saw when we stepped off the ice were Wayne and [former Oilers All-Star defenseman] Kevin [Lowe] standing in our dressing room cheering for us.”

As part of the Wickenheiser ceremony, a tribute video was played including messages from Canadian Olympian and Hall of Famer Mark Messier, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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