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08-16-2011, 09:18 AM
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Day-by-day it's so much pressure," said Jagr. "I don't know how to describe it. If I would have been on the third or fourth line, I would probably stayed in the NHL because you don't have to produce every night.

"After a while, you just need a rest. You know, clear your head."

It was something he first got to experience while splitting his time between the Czech and Russian leagues during the NHL lockout in 2004-05.

He had 54 goals and 123 points the following season for the Rangers.

"I think when I came back I was playing the best hockey in awhile," said Jagr. "I almost won the MVP, I finished second, even the scoring (title). Mentally, it's tough in the NHL -- you have to produce on a high level and everybody expects you to because you make a lot of money.

"I never minded it, I always wanted to be that guy. But it's not easy to play in the NHL for 82 games plus playoffs in such pressure."

Jagr was above point-per-game player for Omsk this season, finishing with 19 goals and 51 points in 49 games. He's also been the top Czech player at the world championship even though he's more than three years older than any of his teammates.

All and all, he doesn't look or sound like a guy that is ready to pack it in.

"I love the game, this is no problem," said Jagr. "I work harder than I ever did in my life, this is no problem."

He won five scoring titles and a Hart Trophy during an NHL career that saw him amass 1,599 career points. Jagr was also a three-time winner of the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as league MVP according to the players.

The most memorable experiences of his career were the two Stanley Cups he won in Pittsburgh.

Jagr wore one of his championship rings while speaking to a group of reporters in Kladno on Monday night.

"I've still got it for luck," he said of the ring.

It sounds like one of the few things that could keep him from trying to make a return to the top of the NHL scoring ranks are injuries.

"I'll be ready to dominate if I stay healthy," said Jagr. "I've got no problem with it because I'm practising a lot harder than I ever did in my life. I want to be the guy again"

Last edited by livewell68: 08-16-2011 at 10:01 AM.
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