The Calgary Flames placed veteran forward Jaromir Jagr on waivers, which could spell the end of his illustrious NHL career, two people with direct knowledge of the move told The Associated Press.
The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Sunday because the team had not announced the transaction. The second-leading scorer in league history is on regular waivers, though one person told the AP that if the 45-year-old Jagr clears, he will be placed on unconditional waivers Monday for the purpose of terminating his NHL contract so he can return to Europe to finish the season.
Calgary signed Jagr to a $1 million, one-year deal with performance bonuses at the start of the season, and he made his Flames debut on Oct. 11. Jagr had a goal and six assists in 22 games this season and hasn't played since Dec. 31 because of what the team called a lower-body injury. He went on injured reserve Jan. 14.
Jagr bounced around with the Flames, playing on the top line with stars Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and with youngsters Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski. The Czech native was in and out of the lineup because of injuries and couldn't find a defined role, and the Flames went on a seven-game winning streak largely without him to move into playoff position.
The Flames were Jagr's ninth NHL team. He previously played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers. He is the active leader with 1,733 games played, 766 goals, 1,555 assists and 1,921 points, and he is second only to Wayne Gretzky on the all-time scoring list.
Jagr is 34 games shy of Gordie Howe's all-time record, a milestone he could have hit this season had he been healthy and continued to play. Instead, he could play for HC Kladno in the Czech League, which he co-owns.
It is uncertain whether Jagr has an opportunity to play for the Czech Republic in next month's Winter Olympics without NHL players. A federation spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Jagr's status with the national team, though the 25-man roster already has been announced.
AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.
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