In one week, Jaromir Jagr is expected to be in Nashville to represent the Panthers during all-star weekend. Whether or not he’ll be there, though, may be up in the air.
The 43-year-old told the Miami Herald’s George Richards that he doesn’t want to go to the All-Star Game. Jagr said the Panthers have “30 important games left, he needs to be ready,” according to Richards. Unfortunately for Jagr, if he were to skip the All-Star Game there would be one catch: he could face a one-game suspension.
If he’s using an excuse — for argument’s sake, if he says he has an injury — he will likely be forced to sit out the Panthers’ first game following the all-star break, which is a road game against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 2.
The one-game suspension for skipping all-star weekend has been dished out before, most notably in 2009 to Detroit Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom and last season to Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby.
It’s not entirely shocking that Jagr is contemplating skipping the All-Star Game, though. Almost from the outset of his time as the leader in the fan-voting for the right to be Atlantic Division captain, Jagr made it clear that fans may be throwing away their votes. On Dec. 2, he took to Twitter to thank fans for their support, but told them not to vote him into the game. “I appreciate your votes for All-Star Game,” Jagr Tweeted. “But 3-on-3 would kill me, and I don’t want to die yet. Thank you for understanding. Too old.”
Hours later, at the urging of Teemu Selanne, Jagr said he would go if he was voted in, but has quipped a few over the past two months about reasons why he shouldn’t be participating. After missing an open net, he said he was “old and no good,” and when John Scott was named Pacific Division captain, Jagr said he was afraid he would have to fight Scott.
“I asked the fans don’t vote for me. They didn’t listen,” Jagr joked post-game on Jan. 3. “I think they didn’t like me much, so they want to see me dead. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll probably have to go. I don’t know what the rules are. Probably the fans think I need to get into shape. I don’t deserve the rest during the all-star break. Everyone else is going to have vacation, I got to play 3-on-3.”
As of Saturday, however, Jagr is still expected to be heading to Nashville come the all-star break, even if he’s doing so begrudgingly. That could change, but if Jagr doesn’t want to play in the game, he may have to face the one-game ban.