Michael DeNicola

 

I have to hand a whole lotta props to BroadStreetHockey.com; Someone over there posted THIS article at 3:30 this morning, covering Jagr's return to on-ice conditioning over in his hometown of Kladno, Czech. 

Now that's dedication.....both from Jaromir and BSH.com. 

Lord knows I aint waking up at a time when only truckers are guzzling Red Bulls in front of a 100 mile stretch on I-95. 

No thanks. 

 

Anywhoo, Broad Street Hockey's latest on Jagr gives us some quotes from the 39 year old forward, including one where he mentions he's spoken with Chris Pronger prior to signing with the Flyers -- 

"I talked with Chris before I signed. He told me about the team and how things are over there. I'm glad to have him on my side and that I don't have to play against him."

 

One thing's for sure; JJ is properly motivated for a returning NHLer. Not only is he working out on the ice twice a week already, but the man WANTS to win a Cup and believes Philly is more than likely one of its next destinations. 

"I think positively and believe that the Flyers can go deep in the playoffs. If the Flyers didn't have a chance to win the Stanley Cup, I wouldn't have signed with them. They were in the finals two years ago, they always have their goals set as high as possible and it never changes."

That 1-yr/$3.3M contract of his probably played a part in that decision as well, but let's just let that slide to the wayside momentarily. 

 

Jagr's reasons to begin his icy bustles weeks before training camp's shift whistle blows comes to no surprise to no one -- 

"Training camp is still far away, but I wanted to be back on the ice already. There's still plenty of time until the season starts, but I've been wanting to be on the ice.

"I have to be prepared. I haven't played in the NHL in three years. It won't be easy. The NHL is just something completely different."

 

Remember the last time a player returned to the NHL [Flyers] from overseas? Yea, we all do. And thanks again to BroadStreetHockey.com, we all know Zherdev's butthurt from not playing on Laviolette's top two lines. 

Depending on the chemistry with linemates, performances and any other one of thousands of influential elements, the question is -- Where's Jagr's mind frame at if he were to (for whatever reason) NOT skate on the front lines?

"Maybe it will be the first line. Maybe it's the second. Maybe it's the third. It depends on how things work out."

 

Ahh, good. At least it's good to know that if this Czech Experiment heads south or tapers off on a mediocre plateau, Jagr is open to adjustments. Or, again, I point your attention to the 3.3 Million friggin' dollars he'll receive in one league-year. 

Whichever one it is, I'm happy Jagr's got a flame lit underneath him already. Motivation doesn't just pop out of nowhere. I like nothing better than a professional sports player who's humble and respect's the game's demand from the body. Especially a four-decade old body.