Jaromir Jagr signs one-year deal, will continue assault on record books with Panthers

Future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr came to terms on a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers on Thursday and will play in his 23rd NHL season.

Jaromir Jagr is returning to the NHL for a 23rd season.

The future Hall of Famer came to terms on a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Jagr earned $3.5 million in 2015-15, and Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports he’s getting a raise next year:

Jagr, 44, led the Panthers in scoring this season with 66 points in 79 games, and helped lead them to their first playoff appearance since 2011-12. They were bounced in six games by the New York Islanders.

Jagr will turn 45 in the middle of next season, but he has proven he can still be an effective player, though he did look a step behind in the playoffs. Nevertheless, Jagr will continue his assault on the NHL record books on a quickly-improving Panthers team. This season he moved into third place all-time in both goals (749) and points (1,868).

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Jagr needs 52 goals to tie Gordie Howe for second all-time — so we won’t count on seeing that in 2016-17. But Jagr is a lock to pass Mark Messier for second all-time in points, needing just 19. He needs to play in 24 games to move into fourth all-time in that category, and 51 assists to move past Ray Bourque into fourth all-time.

“Jaromir is a Hall of Fame player and had an excellent season playing alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a release. “He has been a great fit with our organization and we are excited to have him back for next season.”

Jagr made heads turn this season when he announced he wanted to play until he was 50 years old. Then in March he amended that — and said he wants to play till he’s 60. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe he won’t.