Jaromír Jágr admitted that after the successfully managed playoff against Zlín, which the Central Bohemians won 4-0 for the matches, he will continue his career in the Kladno ice hockey jersey in the next extra league year.
The 51-year-old playing owner of the Knights stated this in an interview with journalists after the fourth game on the ice of the Rams (1:0). However, he considers it crucial that he completes preseason games with the team.
“I still enjoy hockey. Although it’s frustrating when I’ve been used to certain performances that I don’t perform. The advantage is that as an owner I’m always inside the club, so I know what’s going on. Which is a big plus. It’s more about that preparing for a match is not just about coming and playing for fifteen minutes. And sometimes going to training. At my age, you need regeneration, extra training. It will take much more time than I am able to give it,” Jágr admitted.
“Sometimes it takes, for example, a whole day to prepare for one game, plus travel. And then you think that you could handle much more important things somewhere else. So that’s probably how it is,” Jágr explained.
He didn’t even hide that he had a significantly greater desire to continue playing after the end of the regular season than now after the playoff. “The long break didn’t do me much good,” stated Jágr, who played a total of almost 18 minutes today, but did not score even in the fourth play-off match.
For a long time, he admits that a more frequent game team is better for him. “However, I don’t need to train so much. I’m not saying that I overtrain, but even this sometimes happens to me at my age. I never want to feel guilty that I didn’t do my best. And sometimes it also brings fatigue, which I don’t want to admit. But to find a happy medium? Probably no one will advise me, because he has never been in that situation,” said Jágr.
According to him, a lot depends on whether he will play in training.
“Whether I participate in it or not. As I miss the preparatory games in the summer, it’s difficult afterwards. If I miss them, I don’t want to jump into it during the season. Keep putting it off… Then it gets worse and worse,” he stated Jagr. “And if it’s in my head that I want to jump into them? I don’t have anything in my head at the moment,” Jágr smiled.
In that context, he recalled that he only joined this season in mid-December, when he wanted to help the team with a lack of healthy players. In the end, he made 26 starts in the regular season and scored 14 points for five goals and nine assists.
“I don’t believe that if we didn’t have the virus, that I jumped in and that I would have played at all during the season. I wouldn’t go there anymore. Maybe I wouldn’t play at all. Paradoxically, the virus helped me to have to come back. And I started to enjoy it , because there was a break, so I had to train, we didn’t even have enough players for training, I slowly got into it. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have played,” said Jágr.
He was glad that the Knights managed the barrage with an overview in the shortest possible time. “I don’t want to say that today was completely calm, but with a 3-0 lead before the match even started, we had quite a big cushion in case it didn’t work out. So it was calm all day. But especially before the play-off, I didn’t know , what to expect. I think we trained well, which was very important,” praised Jágr.
It also seemed that Kladno was helped a lot by the experience from last year, when it was dealt with in a tie with Jihlava (4:1 on matches).
“A lot of players played it, you can say that we had almost a similar team. Everyone knew what was waiting for them. It is not easy for anyone to maintain concentration for 42 days when you are waiting for the opponent and you see that the others are long on vacation. But I have to thank all the players, coaches and the entire organization for making it through. They had patience and were able to sacrifice themselves,” praised Jágr.
He considers the first match as the most important, which meant a successful step forward. “We only won 1-0, but I could see that we had much more of the game. We had a good start in the second game, the same in the third. Probably our biggest advantage was that we never lost in the series. We always managed to give the first goal and then they had to open it,” reflected Jágr.
What can be done differently for the Knights to avoid the playoffs next season? “It’s one thing that one might want to do something differently. And the other is if there are opportunities and means to do that. Finding difference players? It costs quite a bit and no one can guarantee you that they will really make a difference. Of course we would like to get to the higher ranks, our fans would deserve it. We will do our best,” Jágr assured.
He will start making plans soon. “First we have to think about which direction we will go. Who stays, who doesn’t, what are the possibilities. It would certainly be much worse if we lost the competition, the whole thing would have to be completely overturned. This is how we know that we are playing in the extra league. We will try to put together what the best team,” Jagr said.
The only certain player to leave is forward Adam Kubík. “He is signed elsewhere. Otherwise, most of the players are signed. Pleky (Tomáš Plekanec) and Klépa (Jakub Klepiš), who are older players, do not have contracts. And it depends on them whether they like it here or not. They had a one-year contract. The others they have options, the youngsters have signed contracts. It will depend on us which players we keep and which ones we don’t,” said Jágr.
He has not yet discussed the future with another great figure of the team, Plekanec, a forty-year-old forward who wore the captain’s “catch” on his jersey. “Now the competition is over. We’ll give it time and see what happens next,” said Jágr.
Leave a Reply