BOSTON (CBS) — Jaromir Jagr’s age is no secret. The future Hall of Famer is 41 years old as he prepares for his first Stanley Cup final appearance since 1992, so when he took the podium at media day, many of the questions he faced had to do with his memories from 20-plus years ago.
And when it comes to those memories, many of them are crystal clear.
“I remember it was a different arena. It was old Chicago arena,” Jagr said of his Finals appearance with the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1992. “You got tired before you went to the game because you had to go through the steps. You almost fell when you went down to the dressing room. That was a test of how you really feel, the way you went up the steps before the game. And of course the national anthem, the fans. That was the first time I really experienced the national anthem. The fans were screaming. That was pretty nice.”
Jagr’s Penguins eventually swept the Blackhawks, outscoring Chicago 15-10, but Jagr said he remembers it wasn’t easy.
“That’s a long time ago but it was such an important series, such an important playoffs for me, I remember almost everything,” Jagr said. “I remember as the Pittsburgh Penguins, we went to the Finals, we won seven or eight games before the Finals, and so did Chicago. So it was two hot teams meeting each other in the Final. And the first game we were down 4-1 in the first half of the game and I thought we didn’t have a chance. … And all of a sudden it was three or five minutes left and we were down one. I was lucky, I scored a pretty good-looking goal. And Mario [Lemieux] won it with I think 10 or 15 seconds left in the game. Even though it was the first game, I thought it was a key game.”
And when Jagr’s past is mentioned, it’s only natural to think of those free-flowing locks atop his head. Jagr was asked if seeing pictures of the mullet days is like seeing another person, and he vowed that in the cyclical trends of fashion, that look will once again gain popularity.
“When I had the long hair, I wouldn’t say it was a style, but I wasn’t the only one who had it,” Jagr said. “Maybe not that long, but there was a lot of guys who had long hair. So right now it’s a different style.
“But it’s going to come back,” he added with a wink. “Ten years later, you’ll see. There’s going to be a lot of guys with long hair.”
As for how long he expects to be around in the NHL, Jagr isn’t willing to put any restrictions to the length of his career.
“I never looked at what I did and how I played and how long I’m gonna play if I can play,” Jagr said. “I just take it day by day, and as long as you love the game and you are injury-free, the sky is the limit.”