Worst comes to worst, Jaromir Jagr might very well suit up for his own team this season.
More than a month after the start of NHL free agency and just a few since he played all 82 games for the Florida Panthers at age 45, the legendary forward remains without a team for 2017-18. The Panthers to make Jagr a new offer and the longtime winger has been left to field minor-league opportunities and on the open market.
And yet, as told to NHL.com recently, Jagr could ultimately help himself stay on the ice if he isn't signed before the season.
"The most serious negotiations I have are with Kladno," Jagr said, referring to the very second-level Czech hockey league team he owns. "Because Kladno has a smart owner who knows what he wants. No, really, I don't have a clue. I leave it all on my agent. There is a couple of [NHL] teams that showed interest, but nothing specific yet."
Again acknowledging that he "didn't expect it would be so hard" to get a job in the NHL, where he has cemented his name in the record books, Jagr didn't exactly rule out an actual commitment to playing for Kladno, either.
"One thing is I would be at home and the other is I would have a chance to leave for the NHL anytime there is an opportunity," he said. "Let's say some team deals with injuries and needs help, then I could pack my stuff in the next day and go. If I played in Extraliga [the Czech Republic's top hockey league], I wouldn't have such an option unless the Czech league season would be over."