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Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr Interview - MF Dnes - 16-Jun-01
http://hokej.idnes.cz/nhl.asp?r=nhl&c=A010615_204430_nhl_bra

The last word is mine, claims Jagr.


How do you cope with all those numerous questions about the trade?

No problems. I got a good share of it during the playoffs, it was much worse then.

During the Stanley Cup games, the critics were very harsh on you. Did it affect you personally?

One has to tolerate this. In professional sports, some things are exaggerated. The writers exaggerate, even if something good happens. They need to write more than their competitor. I do believe [in God]. I am convinced that whatever happens is good for something. Sometimes it just takes time to realize it.

During the play-offs you looked rather devastated. What was the biggest problem?

My hockey play was bad, and that was bothering me. We got our butts kicked by New Jersey. It was almost humiliating, but these things happen. You have to learn from all the bad, it will benefit you in the future.

How could you fight for Pittsburgh, when it was ninety percent sure you would leave after the season?

I knew that there was a ninety nine percent chance it would end. On the other hand, you want to say goodbye like a winner, not the way I left. But there are worse things happening in the world.

Do you have an idea what will happen with you?

I think everything will get resolved before the draft. A lot of draft choices will be traded. Thanks to that, more teams may become interested.

Does your agent Barnett observe the negotiations; does he inform you about how it looks like?

I am not used to talk to him often. He has many things on his mind, his family and children, but now I talk to him over the phone every day.

What is the current situation?

Nobody knows, Barnett doesn't know, either. Pittsburgh calls the other teams. Everything depends on who will call back.

Is there still a chance that you stay in Pittsburgh?

I don't think that's going to happen.

Do you want to leave?

Do I, don't I. I don't control this. Every change will bring something positive and something negative. There may be problems with the change of the environment. On the other hand, it may be a motivation for me. You have to look at it optimistically. That's like when you are breaking up with your girlfriend, and you try to persuade her to come back. That will never work. It's time to forget. When you find new love, everything will heal.

Does it mean you are breaking up?

No, but I have such experience {laughter}.

During the playoffs, you were criticized even by your friend Mario Lemieux. Such things weren't common. Did something happen between two of you?

Who knows why it happened. Maybe it was directed to what's about to come. Maybe thanks to such articles, anger of fans and the writers toward me, it will be easier to trade me. If I did not have problems and played great, it would have been difficult for them to let me go. Maybe the fans would give them some tough time.

Do you really thing such sophisticated politics was involved?

I don't know, I try to get to the bottom of it. Everybody contemplates.

Fans staged massive protests against the trade of Pavel Nedved, the soccer player of Lazio Rome. Could there be anything similar because of you in Pittsburgh?

Italy is different, they are soccer-fanatics over there. In the US, the people who go to see the games are usually those who can afford it. A ticket costs a lot of money.

Where would you like to go? To a young team with a perspective such as Tampa? Or to a star team in a big city such as New York Rangers?

[I] Don't really know.

So like a prey, you're waiting to see where they send you?

You can say that. I still think, though, that I'll have to have the last word. Whether I want to go to a particular team. Nobody is going to satisfy Pittsburgh's demands knowing that in two years I can leave as a free agent wherever I like. My opinion is that if somebody acquires me, the new team will want to be sure that I stay there for some time. And when the trade is near its completion, they will come to me and ask whether I am willing to play for them.

But you must have some favorites….

There are some in my head right now, but I won't tell you who they are.

Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.

Back to Tomas' Translation List


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