Jaromir Jagr, the NHL's ageless wonder, will return to the Florida Panthers at age 44 on a one-year deal.
He'll be back.
The Florida Panthers announced on Thursday that they've agreed to a new one-year deal with ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr.
The deal is reportedly worth $4 million with a potential to earn an additional $1.5 million in games-played bonuses ($300,000 at games 10, 20, 30, 40 and 45 on the schedule).
He also negotiated performance bonuses if he wins the Hart Trophy as MVP ($5,000), Art Ross ($5,000) as the NHL's scoring champion, and the Stanley Cup ($5,000), which is kind of cute.
The 44-year old played 79 games with the Panthers this season, leading the club with 66 points—almost every one of which seemed to mark a milestone. Jagr scored his 1,851st point on March 7 to pass Gordie Howe and move into third place on the all-time points list. Earlier, he knocked Brett Hull out of third on the all-time goals list with his 742nd, on Feb. 20.
He also became the sixth player in NHL history to reach 1,100 assists, the fifth to record 200 postseason points and 10th to skate in 1,600 NHL games.
Jagr will enter the 2016-17 season just 19 points behind Mark Messier and second place on the NHL's all-time scoring list (1,887).
While his spot in history is assured, it's what he can do in the present that makes this a smart deal for the Cats. His style has changed over the years, but Jagr still has the game to earn a spot on the top line alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. And his work ethic sets a standard for a rebuilding team that's just beginning to hit its stride.
"Jaromir has had a tremendous influence on our younger players and has been a key offensive contributor on our team," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "We are happy to have him back as we look to build off this year's playoff appearance."
That postseason run didn't go so well—the Panthers were upset in six games by the New York Islanders and Jagr was held to just two assists, extending his playoff goal-scoring drought to 37 games. But with another year ahead of him, there's at least one more chance to script a happy ending.