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Kladno, Czech Republic
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Record setting NHL player
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born February 15, 1972 in Kladno, Central Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic) is a professional ice hockey right winger, who plays for Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League. Jágr formerly played in the National Hockey League with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and most recently the New York Rangers. Jágr is currently in the top fifteen among players in NHL career goals, assists, and points, and is regarded as one of the game`s all-time great players.
ágr began skating at the age of three. At the age of 16, he was playing at the highest level of competition in Czechoslovakia for HC Kladno.
 Pittsburgh Penguins
Jágr was the first Czechoslovak player to be drafted by the NHL without first having to defect to the West. He was taken by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He was a supporting player with the powerhouse Penguins that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. He was the youngest player in NHL history, at 19 years of age, to score a goal in the Stanley Cup finals. While in the locker room, celebrating the Penguins first of two straight Stanley Cups, Jágr was cited for underage drinking.
"I didn`t even know what anagram meant in English, how could I translate that into Czech?"
——Jiří Hrdina, former Penguins teammate & fellow Czech trying to explain to Jágr that mixing the letters of "Jaromir" actually spells "Mario Jr"
Before he had a clean grasp on the English language, he could be heard reading the daily weather forecast on Pittsburgh radio station WDVE in his broken, thickly accented English. He and teammate (and fellow countryman) Jiří Hrdina were promoted as the "Czechmates", a play on the term "checkmate" from chess. Some Penguins fans realized that the letters in his first name could be scrambled to form the anagram "Mario Jr.", a reference to teammate Mario Lemieux.
In the 1994-95 NHL season Jágr won his first Art Ross Trophy as the scoring champion of the NHL. He tied Eric Lindros with 70 points but won based on his 32 goals to Lindros` 29. The next year, Jágr set a record for most points, 149, by a European-born player. Both his 62 goals and 87 assists from that season still stand as career-highs. His 1995-96 totals for assists and points stand as the records for right-wingers in those categories. After the 1997-98 season, Ron Francis signed with the Carolina Hurricanes, leaving Jágr the Penguins` captaincy. From 1997-98 to 2000-01, Jágr would win four straight NHL scoring titles. In 1999, Jágr would win the Hart Memorial Trophy, as the NHL`s Most Valuable Player as well as the Lester B. Pearson Award. In 1998, he led the Czech Republic`s team to a gold medal at the Nagano Olympics.
In addition to his hockey skills, Jágr was also well-known for sporting a mullet throughout much of his career.
In 2000-01, Jágr was struggling to find his scoring touch and faced criticisms about his relationship with coach Ivan Hlinka. With the return of Mario Lemieux from retirement, the Penguins had two superstars but friction developed between the two; Jágr held the captaincy but many fans regarded Lemieux as the talisman of the team. Also, the struggling, small-market Penguins could, with Lemieux back, no longer hope to afford Jágr`s massive salary. Thus on July 11, 2001 they traded him (along with Frantisek Kucera) to the Washington Capitals for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, and Ross Lupaschuk.
 Washington Capitals
Later that year the Capitals signed Jágr to the largest contract ever in NHL history (at that time)—$77 million over 7 years at an average salary of $11 million per year, with an option for an eighth year. However, Jágr did not live up to expectations, as the Capitals failed to defend their division title and missed the playoffs in 2002. Even when the Capitals reunited him with linemate Robert Lang during summer 2002, Jágr failed to finish among the league`s top scorers or make the postseason All-Star Team during his time with the Capitals. In 2002-03 Washington managed to finish 6th overall in the Eastern Conference, but lost to the upstart Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs despite winning the first two games.
This prompted the Caps to unload much of their high-priced talent in order to save money—not just a cost-cutting spree, but also an acknowledgement that their attempt to build a contender with high-priced veteran talent had failed. Disgruntled, the Washington ownership spent much of 2003 trying to trade Jágr, but a year before a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was to be signed, few teams were willing to risk $11 million on Jágr. On January 23, 2004 he was traded to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter and an agreement that Washington would pay approximately four million dollars per year of Jágr`s salary. Jágr also agreed to defer (with interest) $1
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Jaromír Jágr (born February 15, 1972) is a Czech professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has formerly played in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, serving as captain of the Penguins and the Rangers. After leaving the Rangers, he played for three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) with Avangard Omsk before returning to the NHL with the Flyers.
Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1st round (5th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
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