Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr is third in all-time NHL points after getting an assist against the Boston Bruins at BB&T Center on Monday.
Jagr has 1,851 points, one more than Gordie Howe and trailing Mark Messier (1,887) and Wayne Gretzky (2,857).
“It means I’ve played for a long time with a lot of good players,” Jagr said last week. “In the stats, there’s the proof. After you’re done, I’ll be saying I was a pretty good player and people will say, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure you were.’ At least I can point to the stats and say, ‘Hey, there’s pretty good proof.'”
Jagr was credited with an assist after Aleksander Barkov scored on a rebound against Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with 3:12 remaining in the first period. Boston coach Claude Julien challenged the play for goalie interference, but the goal stood.
Jagr’s 743 NHL goals are third all-time. Gretzky’s 894 goals are most in League history; Howe scored 801.
“If I give so much of my life to hockey, it’s kind of nice to see yourself and your numbers right up there with the best players,” Jagr said. “When I retire, I think I will be happier than I am now. Today, looking at the stats doesn’t help me much. Working hard, concentrating on feeling the best you can for every game will help me a lot more.”
Jagr has 21 goals and 49 points in 63 games this season. The 44-year-old made his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 1990, and has played 1,613 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils and Panthers.
“Every night there’s different things going on with [Jagr] and he’s breaking different records,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “But to hear Gordie Howe’s name mentioned, that’s obviously a big thrill for him.”
Howe played 1,687 games with the Detroit Red Wings and 80 in one season with the Hartford Whalers (1979-80). He played six seasons in the World Hockey Association.
Jagr missed three NHL seasons playing in the Kontinental Hockey League from 2008-11.