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Jagr considering return to international competition, could play for Czechs at World Championship

Jared Clinton
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Author: The Hockey News

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Jagr considering return to international competition, could play for Czechs at World Championship

Jared Clinton
By:

Jaromir Jagr announced his retirement from international play at the 2014 World Championship, but he may be coming out of retirement already. According to a report, he is considering suiting up for the Czech Republic at the 2015 World Championship, which will take place in Jagr’s home country.

While some players half his age will be taking the summer off to train and ice their ailments, 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr is considering fitting more hockey into his schedule.

A report from Reuters Tuesday morning says that Jagr will, at the very least, join the Czech national team for the World Championship, but he’s uncertain whether or not he’ll actually enter the lineup at any point. Before hitting the ice for the World Champioship, Jagr wants to speak with the team’s GM, former teammate Vladimir Ruzicka.

"I will join the team (but) it is not certain that I will play at the championships. I will prepare and we will see how it all works out," Jagr said, according to Reuters.

The World Championship kicks off in May and, because of the Panthers’ mathematical elimination from the post-season, Jagr will be available at that time. The tournament will be held in the Czech Republic beginning May 1, with Prague and Ostrava acting as the host cities.

At the World Championship last May, Jagr announced he was retiring from international competition following a loss in the bronze-medal game to Sweden. Jagr said it would be his, “last game for the Czech Republic,” and that while he would be back in the NHL to play this past season, the games at the 2014 World Championship were his final ones for his home country.

Jagr has had an extremely successful international career. At the 1998 Olympics, Jagr helped lead the Czechs to the gold medal. He helped to secure the bronze for his home country at the 2006 Olympics, as well. In 2005 and 2010, Jagr was a part of World Championship winning Czech teams. The 2005 gold-medal win at the World Championship made Jagr the 15th player in hockey history to enter the Triple Gold Club as a winner of a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and World Championship gold.

In 2011, with five goals and four assists in nine games, he was named the tournament’s best forward. At last season’s World Championship, Jagr scored four goals and eight points in 10 games to add to his impressive international totals. In 111 total international games as a professional, Jagr has registered 41 goals and 93 points.

This season, Jagr became the NHL’s fifth highest goal scorer of all-time, and sits only 21 goals back of passing Brett Hull to enter the top three behind Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. Jagr also currently sits as the league’s fourth highest point scorer, tied with Ron Francis at 1,798 points.

At this point, Jagr does not have an NHL contract for next season, but the Florida Panthers have expressed interest in retaining the veteran winger's services should he wish to come back to the club next season. If Jagr does not re-sign with the Panthers before July 1, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

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Jagr considering return to international competition, could play for Czechs at World Championship