The Flyers have to be happy so far with their offseason decision to sign 39-year-old free agent Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr, who is playing on a line with 22-year-old James van Riemsdyk and 23-year-old Claude Giroux, has four assists in his team's first five games. But more importantly, the Flyers haven't lost a game in regulation, getting another win on Tuesday night to start the season 4-0-1.
In addition to the Flyers' regularly scheduled practices, the future Hall of Famer has been working out after hours at the team's practice facility. At Jagr's request, the team has given him a key to the practice rink so that he can work out and skate on his own. But Jagr hasn't just stayed a few hours late, he is coming in late at night — as late as 11 p.m.
He has given his teammates an open invitation to join him, calling the workouts '"Jagr Hockey School." One of Jagr's "students" has been Jody Shelley, who has used the workouts to stay sharp while serving a suspension for a hit-from-behind that he doled out in the preseason.
"It's just extra work, just extra stuff," Shelley said. "He just has input on anyone's game if they're open for any ideas. He's just got a lot of things to tell me and talk about."
When asked why he is coming in so late at night, Jagr told Yahoo Sports' Nicholas Cotsonika, "Because the ice is free."
Jagr said he works on different things that he might not have time to go over during practice time.
"During the practice, it's tough to work on something, because you've got to do everything in groups," Jagr said. "After practice, you're kind of tired."
So, instead, he prefers to come in late rather than going out and doing something else like most players would.
Shelley said he is impressed by the veteran's determination.
"You've got a Hall of Famer, one of the biggest All-Stars in the game who goes and does this, and it's just what he does," Shelley said. "It's like some of us read books, some of us watch movies, he wants to go to the rink and be on the ice. It's probably where he feels the best."
Even though he has been putting in all this extra work, Jagr said he doesn't expect to match his previous numbers that he had when he was younger.
"It's impossible," he said. "I'm not Gretzky."
One thing's for sure, the Flyers will be happy they handed their new leader a key if the wins keep coming.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP