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Jagr Reportedly won’t play at World Cup

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Jared Earle/via flickr.com

Veteran Forward says he won’t have proper time to prepare

NHL

This September, for the first time since 2004, the World Cup of Hockey will be contested in Toronto. The world’s best hockey countries will send their best players to the tournament  to see who will bring home the World Cup title. One legend, however, seems like he won’t be there.

Jaromir Jagr has reportedly announced that he will not play for the Czech Republic at this year’s tournament.

The 44-year-old Jagr just finished his 23rd season in the NHL after helping the Florida Panthers reach the playoffs for the first time since 2012. He can obviously still play at a high level as he led the Panthers in points (66) and was second on the team with 27 goals.

He’s also a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

It’s not his play, though, that is keeping him from playing in the World Cup; it’s his lack of preparation.

Former NHL forward, and current Team Czech Republic general manager, Martin Rucinsky spoke to the Czech media on Tuesday and said “It would be too difficult for him to get ready for such an important tournament during the summer. He will have a lot of work with Kladno [Czech league team Jagr owns]. He wants to do some work with the team and therefore wouldn’t be able to get ready for the World Cup in time.”

Rucinsky also added that at last year’s IIHF World Championships, Jagr had stated that that would be the final tournament he would play with the national team.

Team Czech Republic is sure to miss Jagr as he has been a big part of the Czech teams that have enjoyed success in international tournaments.

He helped it win the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and gold at the World Championship in 2005 and 2010. He was named the most valuable player of the 2015 Worlds after helping the Czech Republic finish fourth.

The World Cup will be played from September 17 to October 1 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Games will be televised on ESPN in the United States, and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

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