Jaromir Jagr will not return to the Boston Bruins next season but the 41-year-old says that he hopes to play in a 20th NHL campaign.
“I want to do it [return to the NHL],” Jagr told reporters in Boston two days after the Bruins lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. “I love this game so much that's for sure, so I don't want to go back to [the] Czech [Republic] yet."
The leading scorer among active NHL players with 681 goals and 1688 points in 1391 career regular-season games, Jagr was traded to Boston prior to the April 3 Trade Deadline and played primarily on the Bruins’ second and third lines throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Jagr had 10 assists in 22 playoff games this spring, but did not score.
“Maybe if I scored 20 goals in the playoffs it would be a different story,” he said of returning to the Bruins next season. “But I was 20 short.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told the free-agent-to-be that the Bruins would not re-sign him. The same message was delivered to veteran forward Jay Pandolfo and to defenseman Andrew Ference.
Chiarelli’s offseason priority will be to re-sign free agent Nathan Horton to a long-term deal. The 27-year-old finished second on the Bruins in playoff scoring with seven goals and 19 points in 22 games and was an NHL-best plus-20 in the postseason.
"I have enjoyed my time here obviously,” Horton said. “Two out of three years, I've been here we've been in the Stanley Cup and we've won one time and I said a million times, the guys in the room are amazing," Horton said. "It's been a lot of fun and I really enjoy everyone and every player on the team."
The Bruins also announced Wednesday that Horton will undergo offseason shoulder surgery.
HUNTER OFFICIALLY NAMED COACH OF CANADIAN U-18 TEAM:
Former Capitals captain and head coach Dale Hunter was formally introduced Wednesday as head coach of Hockey Canada’s Under-18 national team.
Hunter will lead Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament this August in Slovakia. Canada will be seeking a sixth straight gold medal in the U-18 event.
"You see how much work goes into winning and that's why Canada wins," Hunter told reporters in Toronto. "If it was easy, it wouldn't be as much fun.
"In the playoffs you have seven games. You might lose the first two and you can redeem yourself. In a tournament like this you've got to be ready right off the hop and have them firing on all cylinders."