|96 Draft Class||97 Draft Class||98 Draft Class||99 Draft Class|
|Matt Cullen||Joe Thornton||Francois Beauchemin||Daniel Sedin|
|Zdeno Chara||Patrick Marleau||Henrik Sedin|
|Jason Chimera||Radim Vrbata|
|Roberto Longo||Henrik Zetterberg|
Over the all-star break the Calgary Flames sent Jaromir Jagr back to his hometown of Kladno to finish out his contract. It was the admirable thing to do by the franchise that gave the 45-year old the chance to play his first full season in a Canadian city.
But it was obvious, even before he got hurt, that the end was very near for the legend that is Jaromir Jagr. He appeared in 22 games for the Flames this season tallying just seven points. We’ve all heard the career stats and ranks over the last few days, but what about those other upperclassmen that are approaching the age of 45?
There are a total of 14 picks left from the 90’s decade of draft classes. The Cliché “Last of A dying breed” applies to these journeymen listed below:
I’m sorry if I made you feel old, but it’s just the way things are in this world. With the likes of Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews dominating the game, it’s still a wonder players like Chara, Thornton and Zetterberg continue to be key pieces for their hockey clubs.
Chara and Thornton seem to be the players mentioned above who’ll battle it out for the title of ‘Last 90’s Draft Pick Standing’. Hall-of-famer Teemu Selanne owns the 80’s title, in case you were wondering.
“He’s really made our team better. The way his mindset was and the way he approached things, the way he saw the game.” – Glen Gulutzan on Jaromir Jagrhttps://t.co/HILO6AeLhC
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 30, 2018
It seemed like it would never end for Jagr but it finally did. He is a once in a lifetime talent that dazzled on and off the ice in the NHL. His salute will life in infamy as will that epic draft pick photo with his curly mullet.
Don’t think for a second that he’s going to retire professional hockey at the end of this season. Czech’s Republic’s G.O.A.T will get a heroes welcome in his hometown of Kladno and as owner of the team, he can play however long he wants. It’s a fitting end for a player who’s skill and work ethic was admired on-and-off the ice. You just knew he was going to give it his all until he couldn’t, anymore.