The Pittsburgh Penguins, like many teams with a rich history, have pictures and murals of past legends and Stanley Cup championships in the locker rooms in their home arena.
One notable player who is now absent from the Penguins’ “Ring of Honor” in the locker room is future Hall of Fame forward Jaromir Jagr, who is making his debut with the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
Jagr’s photo was taken down, according to Tom Gulitti of The Record, and that spot on the ring of honor was given to Mark Recchi, as seen in the photo below.
When asked about the change in the locker room, Jagr didn’t provide much of an opinion.
Jagr on being removed from Pens locker room: "Whatever."—
Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) October 03, 2013
The relationship between Jagr and the Penguins hasn’t been great over the last few years. When he returned to the NHL for the 2011-12 season after spending several years playing in Russia, he chose to play for their biggest rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. He helped the Flyers eliminate the Penguins from the first round of the 2012 playoffs, and also aided the Boston Bruins in sweeping Pittsburgh during last year’s Eastern Conference finals.
Despite his recent history with the team, there’s absolutely no reason for Jagr to be removed from the locker room walls. He ranks second all-time in goals, assists, points and game played in the Penguins’ record books, and without his postseason brilliance, the team would have two less championships.
It will be interesting to see what kind of reception Jagr receives from Penguins fans on Thursday, but the most likely scenario is that he will be booed, similar to what happened on his return in 2011 with Philadelphia.
Photo via @Ledger_NJDevils