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Former NHL star Jaromir Jagr scores in his first game since turning 52

Kladno players Antonin Melka, left, and Jaromir Jagr celebrate their first goal during the hockey game between Rytíři Kladno and VHK Robe Vsetín in Kladno, Czech Republic, Thursday, April 18, 2024. Jaromir Jagr returned to action on Thursday for the first time since turning 52 and immediately scored as he beat legend Gordie Howe to become the oldest player in a professional competition. (Ondrej Deml/CTK via AP) SLOVAKIA OUT

KLADNO, Czech Republic (AP) — Jaromir Jagr returned to action Thursday for the first time since turning 52 and immediately scored as he surpassed legend Gordie Howe to become the oldest player taking regular shifts in professional ice hockey.

Howe, known as “Mr. Hockey,” was 52 years, 11 days old when played his final NHL game in 1980. The Canadian later played a single shift with the Detroit Vipers in the International Hockey League in 1997 at the age of 69. Howe died in 2016.

Jagr hadn't played since Feb. 10 — five days before he turned 52 — and rejoined his Kladno Knights, a top-division team from his Czech Republic hometown, in the second game of a playoff relegation series against Vsetin.

The former NHL great in his first shift was unmarked when he collected the puck in front of goal and scored to give Kladno a 1-0 lead 1:59 into the game.

It was Jagr's 16th game in his 36th professional season. He also also added an assist.

Kladno won the game 7-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

During his break, Jagr traveled to Pittsburgh where the Penguins retired his iconic No. 68 on Feb 18.

Jagr played 11 seasons with the Penguins, winning the Stanley Cup titles in 1991 and 1992.

Jagr made his debut for Kladno as a teenager and returned to the club — which he now owns — in 2018 after the Calgary Flames released the NHL’s second all-time leading point-scorer.

It's not clear when he might retire.


AP sports:

The Associated Press

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