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Excerpts from Jagr's interviews given during his Russian years.

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07-06-2011, 08:12 PM
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CSKA1974
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Excerpts from Jagr's interviews given during his Russian years.

As a parting gift to Jagr, Russian media offered excerpts from his interviews given over the years. I offer you my version of translation; I also will omit stuff that is relevant only to Russia. As always, I kept the style as close to the original as possible, and I think the interviews were taken in Russian.

“I will play for a minimal salary for Lemieux”

The “Face” of the KHL for the last 3 championships is going overseas again. The journalists in Russia have followed Jagr’s every step; although he was not always in a mood to talk. Nevertheless, “Sports.ru” has collected most interesting Jagr’s quotes for the last few seasons.

Jagr of KHL

“Perhaps, I have made one of the most arguable decisions in my life, but I do not regret this. I will spend at least 2 years in Russia, and then I will play in Kladno (native town). (7/22/2008)

“As for the KHL using me as a “face” of the new league- it’s good for everyone! I am ready to be a front page! Hopefully, it will be the same as NHL!” (7/25/2008)

“I do not think that Czech teams will be able to play here- to much money is needed. I think KHL will be a respectable competitor to NHL soon” (9/4/2008)

“There is much more open ice in KHL. But the league is not simple. There are many strong players, some real super stars. So there are real reasons to talk about KHL as a serious organization. And Gagarin Cup is a serious trophy.” (9/30/2008)

“Do you remember that the European countries were all separate? And now we have even common currency. We are at the beginning of the great project- establishing KHL. Let’s wait and see. As it is said in English- you can’t build a city in 1 year.” 10/10/2008)

“It’s much harder to become the best scorer in Russia than NHL. The rinks are much bigger here and one really has to skate a lot. In the NHL, once you get by one person, you have a chance to score. And here? You can get around one defender, but you still have about 20 meters to go. Everyone can skate very well here. I would say, even better than in the NHL. You can’t outrun anyone, really.” (9/19/2009)

I do not think we need smaller, NHL size, rinks in KHL. I would sooner adopted intermediate solution. I would decrease a width by 2 meters. The game will become more dynamic, more attractive to the fans. And also the identity of the Russian hockey (technique and smartness) will be maintained. But it will not be Russian hockey, if the NHL size rinks are implemented. (11/24/2009)

“I would like KHL to reconsider the rules of the game. Everything has to be clear and by the league code. If you fight- you get penalized. If your opponent fell- the fight stops. If you instigate a fight during a warm-up – 209 games suspension. The game will become clearer and cleaner. Clarify every nuance. Have five cameras at a game, not one. Every part of the game should as under a microscope. And implement the rules now.” (1/11/2010)

Jagr of NHL

“It’s quite difficult to sign a long term contract for an aged player in the NHL. Club managers are concerned with possibility of an injury or retirement, and will get stuck with the salary. I was not interested in signing a 1 year deal and then have the same problem 1 year later.” (7/6/2008

“Never say never. But my chances to ever play in the NHL are minimal. At this time, I know that in 2 years I will go to Kladno to finish my career.. It seems to be more real than the NHL.” (7/6/2008)

“I am sorry for my magnificent statistics. Had I played 2 more seasons in the NHL, I would have scored 300 points. And I could have become a second best scorer in the history of the league. I could have competed with Gretsky. But, it’s too late for that” (7/26/2008)

“If Mario calls me and says: “I want you to play for my team”. I will truly think about transfer to “Penguins”. Lemieux is my idol. I am ready to play for a minimal salary of $350000 for him. He had done a lot for me to become who I am right now. Therefore, I consider it’s my debt to help him if it becomes necessary. (1/10/2009)

“It pleased me a lot to learn that Edmonton had taken serious attempts to get me. That flatters me. If I ever get back to the NHL, my first consideration will go to that club; because “Oilers” had tried to sign me from the very beginning. I respect these things and never forget them.” (5/1/2009)


Jagr of Jagr

“Please realize, that some people get used to certain things. I was born in raised in the Eastern Europe in the communism era, that’s my home. That’s why the spirit of society is so close to me. I do not need a $ 10 million mansion, its love and support of common people that I value more.” (4/7/2008)

“I promised my father to return to Kladno in 2 years. They will have built a new arena by that time.” (5/7/2008)

“I spend a lot of time on the ice and in the gym now. I know that I will have to work a lot in “Avangard”- training is much harder in Russia than in the NHL. I would not people to laugh at me at the first skating session. It’s very important to me not to fall below my personal level even in training.” (7/22/2008)

“I am used to a tough game. It has to be clean, though. Then I can stand up for myself. It has to be said, though, I have not fought in a while. Well, may be with my agent.” 7/26/2008)

“Am I a veteran? I feel like 18 year old, no 16 year old!” (7/26/2008)

“I would not want to play in Moscow- terrible traffic there. I would rather fly- one can sleep on a plane. Only not to seat in a car for 4 hours and breathe gasoline. I was irritated with New- York traffic as well.” (7/29/2008)

“I am not a general manager, I am a player. Someone else has to search for a head coach.” (9/21/2008)

“I put some efforts into hiring Fleming. I have never been coached by him, but I heard good stuff from the people who I trust completely. It’s important to the “Avangard” now to have a strong coaching hand.” 9/30/2008)

“I do not want to comment on Gersonsky’s firing. I will say simply that. I am convinced that it is easier for a coach to change, than try to amend minds of 20 adult men. Flexibility is always very important.” (9/30/2008)

“I do not need a super center. More important when the entire line is working together on the ice.” (9/30/2008)

“Hashek is 45? I will play to that age, if I want to; but I do not know yet. Everything is contingent on my health and passion for the game. If I still enjoy it at that age- why not? I do not want to work at hockey, I want to “get high” of it.” (11/27/2010)

“I do not really know who and when did I play against. Good players never pay attention to one another, only to themselves.” (12/16/2010)

“I was always on the players’ side. And I asked them be patient. Because we played well. It’s worth to clinch one’s teeth for the result. But that was my mistake. Had I known, what would happened in play offs I would have done everything differently. I would have come to Summanen and would have told him that he was wrong. I think, guys were waiting for me to do that. But I did not do it.” 4/29/2011)

P.S.

“Sport has always had 2 sides. You play well- you are very popular. I f thing are not well, everything turns around in a blink. As if the walls are raised around you. It’s nice to come to the city where everyone is waiting for me to play. Now, everything depends on me, what I will bring to the club.” (7/27/2008)

“My career will end soon. I can’t just waste it. I wanted to win with the “Avangard”, but it did not happen. It’s my fault as well. I am not blaming others. I am only talking about myself. I have always hoped that if I play well, then my partners will be playing better too. And we will crush mountains together. I am not looking at the other teams. I would want to stay with the “Avangard”. But not everything depends on me. In general, I have not decided about my future. I do not have headaches about that. I believe, that G_d will show me the right turn in life.” (3/26/2010

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07-06-2011, 10:46 PM
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Thanks..enjoyed the quotes although in retrospect given what just transpired lots of contradictions. Still interesting perspective...

Hopefully he'll do this with the Flyers..I'll settle for at least attempting to climb them

"we will crush mountains together"

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07-07-2011, 12:55 PM
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Spasibo!

Quote:
“Sport has always had 2 sides. You play well- you are very popular. I f thing are not well, everything turns around in a blink. As if the walls are raised around you. It’s nice to come to the city where everyone is waiting for me to play. Now, everything depends on me, what I will bring to the club.” (7/27/2008)
How true that is! I'm looking forward to watching him and I think his play and personality will soon make him a Philly favorite.

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07-07-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSKA1974 View Post
If Mario calls me and says: “I want you to play for my team”. I will truly think about transfer to “Penguins”. Lemieux is my idol. I am ready to play for a minimal salary of $350000 for him. He had done a lot for me to become who I am right now. Therefore, I consider it’s my debt to help him if it becomes necessary. (1/10/2009)
I'd like to point this one out, because it was talked so much recently... did Mario really ask Jagr to play for him? We know only they talked on the phone, nothing more. Really not enough to back up theory that Mario asked him to play in PIT. And the second thing... did PIT (Mario) really need Jagr's help? I don't thinks so and Jagr probably doesn't think so too. Really what would be the point if he took offer, which he didn't like for various reasons, when PIT didn't have any troubles and no need for his help?

That was just why I think these quotes are just weak argument for being harsh on Jagr because of his decision, which is what PIT fans are doing.

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07-07-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorz View Post
I'd like to point this one out, because it was talked so much recently... did Mario really ask Jagr to play for him? We know only they talked on the phone, nothing more. Really not enough to back up theory that Mario asked him to play in PIT. And the second thing... did PIT (Mario) really need Jagr's help? I don't thinks so and Jagr probably doesn't think so too. Really what would be the point if he took offer, which he didn't like for various reasons, when PIT didn't have any troubles and no need for his help?

That was just why I think these quotes are just weak argument for being harsh on Jagr because of his decision, which is what PIT fans are doing.
That quote at that time feels more like- I will play for small money in the NHL, just get me out of here.

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07-08-2011, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSKA1974 View Post
“It’s much harder to become the best scorer in Russia than NHL. The rinks are much bigger here and one really has to skate a lot. In the NHL, once you get by one person, you have a chance to score. And here? You can get around one defender, but you still have about 20 meters to go. Everyone can skate very well here. I would say, even better than in the NHL. You can’t outrun anyone, really.” (9/19/2009)
The difference between playing on the small and the big ice in a nutshell. That's why Ovechkin has been much more dangerous with the Caps than he was with Dynamo Moscow. Two different games.

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07-08-2011, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rexor View Post
The difference between playing on the small and the big ice in a nutshell. That's why Ovechkin has been much more dangerous with the Caps than he was with Dynamo Moscow. Two different games.
I'm not European but I think people really have a dislike towards European players and their opinions.

If a player goes to play in the KHL it doesn't mean he bailed on the NHL or that he can't hack it anymore. For some the NHL is not the be all and end all of hockey. Jagr had already dominated the NHL, he has accomplished everything, he has the right to try another league. The KHL is the modern equivalent of the WHA of yesteryears. I don't see guys like Howe getting flack for playing in the WHA and being called washed up when he was older.

I think people don't want to accept the fact that eventhough the KHL is inferior to the NHL that it is still a competitive league and that the style of play is vastly different than the NHL.

Jagr is European yes but his game is better suited for the NHL especially at his age.

You guys might not agree with me but I have a gut feeling that Jagr will have one last truly dominant "Jagr type" NHL season.


Last edited by livewell68: 07-08-2011 at 01:05 PM.
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07-08-2011, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jags6868 View Post
You guys might not agree with me but I have a gut feeling that Jagr will have one last truly dominant "Jagr type" NHL season.
Would love to see it this year!

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