Jaromir Jagr hit the ice in Frisco Saturday morning to skate with his Dallas Stars teammates for the first time. Jagr, signed to a one-year, $4.55 million contract in July, said he was happy to be with a team that wanted him, and was ready to prove that the Stars made the right decision in signing him.
“When I decided to sign here they were interested, they wanted me here,” Jagr said. “At the end of my career I just want to be some place where the team wants me. On the other side, it’s extra motivation to prove to the people that they made the right choice.”
Jagr arrived in Dallas late Thursday from Czech Republic, where he played during the NHL lockout. He registered 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) and a plus-22 rating in 34 games for Kladno, a team he also happens to own.
“It’s a totally different game. It’s on the big ice and I don’t think the level of hockey is comparable to the NHL,” said Jagr. “There’s no question about it, the NHL is the best league in the world, the best players are here. But it gave me something extra, it gave me extra practice time and you have to skate a lot more on the big ice.”
Jagr’s one of the game’s super stars. There was a good-sized crowd on hand to watch him and his teammates skate Saturday morning. His teammates are fans as well.
“He’s such a big star,” said forward Loui Eriksson. “It was fun to see him out there today and it will be fun to see him when we start playing.”
“I just met him today and I’ve played against him a few times. He’s quite a player,” said forward Michael Ryder. “Watching him over the years he did a lot of fantastic things, hopefully he can do it here in Dallas. He’s excited to be here, and it’s just going to be an honor to play with him.”
Jagr, Eriksson and Ryder were the latest players to arrive in town and join the skates in anticipation of training camp, which is scheduled to open on Sunday. The only player yet to arrive is Jamie Benn, who is without a contract.
Video of Jagr’s press conference is here.
Some highlights of Jagr skating Saturday are below.