Fans, coach, hopeful Jágr will play at Worlds
Hockey fans are fast looking forward to the upcoming Ice Hockey World Championships which begin in May, held this year in the Czech cities of Prague and Ostrava. Hosting a championship means added anticipation over how the home squad will do. Many hope that legendary forward Jaromír Jágr, who is taking part in training camp, will play, and if possible, lead the Czechs to a medal on home ice.
After the regular season wraps up, Jágr confirmed in the media he will return to Prague where he will take part in training camp with the national squad. If he remains in good form, there is a good chance he will play at the Worlds – a welcome reversal of his decision from last year, when Jágr said he had played for the last time in the championship. Now, he has agreed to sit down with national squad coach Vladimír Růžička, who made no secret he wants Jágr to play.
In the coach’s view, Jágr is currently doing very well with the Panthers (where he moved after February) even if the club didn’t make the NHL playoffs.
“He has been playing great in Florida. The Panthers have a more forward-playing style than the New Jersey Devils and I think it suits him.”
Jágr might also not be the only key veteran to play; Vladimír Růžička also said he wants Martin Ručinský, possibly on the same line. The forward, also 43, is currently in the domestic Extraliga finals with his club Litvínov. The national squad coach again:
“There’s Ručinský, too. Of course, I don’t want it to seem like we only have ‘older’ players but I want to have a team with players who are the best and we want to get a good result.”