It's fair to say that at 43 years old, Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr is defying even his own body clock.
Entering tonight's game against the Capitals at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. (7 p.m., CSN pregame), Jagr leads the Panthers with 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) in 25 games.
“He defies everything,” Trotz said. “When he was in Dallas (in 2012-13), if he didn’t have a good game he’d get the key to the rink and he’d turn on the lights and he’d be out there for two or three hours, after he played 20 minutes.
“That’s probably a long way from where he started as a young player. I remember him as a young player and he wouldn’t wear shoulder pads in practice and sort of go through the motions and rely on his pure talent.
“What I like about Jaromir is that as he’s gotten older he’s continued to keep the boy in his game. He enjoys it and I think his training and how much he loves the game and the way he performs in the games is pretty remarkable.”
Jagr’s offensive numbers are historic. Despite playing three seasons in Russia’s KHL, he is one goal away from tying Marcel Dionne for fourth on the NHL’s all-time goals list (731). Jagr ranks fourth in points (1,822), sixth in assists (1,092) and 10th in games played (1,575).
“If he wouldn’t have left for the KHL he would have been testing Gordie Howe’s records,” Trotz said. “That’s pretty amazing. You could probably mark in another 120 or 130 goals to what he has already and that’s a pretty remarkable career.
“And who says he’s not going to play for another six years? People thought maybe 10 years ago he might not be able to play and he’s come back and it’s pretty remarkable. He’s a Hall of Fame guy for sure but his numbers are pretty staggering.”
MORE CAPITALS: Trotz moves into Top 10 in NHL victories