Veteran NHLer Jagr to lead Czech Republic in Sochi
New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr, right, of the Czech Republic, talks to center Travis Zajac after Jagr scored a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 5-2. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, January 7, 2014 8:12AM EST
PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Jaromir Jagr will play in his fifth Olympics, leading the Czech hockey team at the Winter Games in Sochi next month.
The 41-year-old right winger has had a solid season so far for the New Jersey Devils, with 13 goals and 21 assists in 43 games.
Jagr was on the Czech team that won gold at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, the first games featuring NHL players. He also helped the Czechs win the bronze medal in Turin in 2006.
"He's a machine," Flyers winger Jakub Voracek, also named to the team, told The Canadian Press. "He's 41 years old, he's going to be 42 in February. He's got a point per game."
The 25-man Czech team was announced by coach Alois Hadamczik on Monday in Prague.
"We consider this team the best," Hadamczik said.
Jagr actually isn't the oldest player on the team. Petr Nedved, who won a silver medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics when he played for Canada, was a surprise selection on the team. Nedved is 42 and plays for the provincial team White Tigers Liberec in the Czech league, but Hadamczik said the forward "never disappointed me."
Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadians will be the captain, while Jagr's teammate Patrik Elias, David Krejci of the Boston Bruins are other top Czech forwards.
Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec also nained down a roster spot.
Calgary veteran Jiri Hudler, who has 33 points this year with the Flames, was left off the roster. Phoenix left-wing Radim Vrbata is another surprising omission.
The Czechs open the tournament Feb. 12 against Sweden and also face Latvia and Switzerland in Group C.