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Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr's Deke - Reflex magazine - 21-Dec-00
http://www.reflex.cz/11051/00528890.htm
by Jaromir Jagr

To be sincere, I do not want to read what our newspapers have to say about my crisis and my desire to leave for another club anymore. I'm looking forward to Mario's return, because media in Pittsburgh, and in fact in the whole United States will fully focus on him, and they'll give me a break for a while. For many, my attempt to change the scene does not seem understandable, but I was really fed up with all that.

The last straw came when we won one particular game and the newspapers were writing only about why I have problems. Like if nobody was interested in the fact that our team fared pretty well. So I decided to go to Craig Patrick, our GM. We have a great relationship, it was him who actually drafted me and personally brought me to Pittsburgh. Craig listened to me and said: "I understand, but I think that this is off limits. However, I can't decide this. Go talk to Mario." So I went to the team owner. I intentionally say the owner, because everything happened before his official return.

We agreed to talk after the practice. I came to his office and started listing my reasons. That it will be good for the team, because they can get good players for me and that actually the change will be beneficial mutually. I stressed that I can hardly focus on the game when the newspapers constantly write only about the fact that I have no points. Then I would be focusing on my points only, and that would hurt the team, wouldn't it? While I talked, Mario was smiling. And then he said: "I think you are overreacting a little. I understand that you probably do not play they way you would like to, but you have shown for two years in a row that you are the best player in the NHL, and I won't trade you anywhere. You are under our contract until you'll be thirty-one, and I want you to stay here. There is no way we would trade you."

That's basically what he said, and he was still smiling. Just couple of days after this meeting I heard that great news. I immediately ran to Marian Jelinek. "Something incredible has happened", I said to him. "Did they buy you a center?" Marian cheered. When I did not say anything, he was thinking for a while, and then he spouted "No way, he will come back?"

Mario is in our locker room again, and they just finished his custom made skates. He talked to Milan Kraft about that he likes his number. "I think I'll take your fourteen", he said. Joe Mullen who was standing by noted: "But you should give him at least fifty thousands for it". "I'm going to give him forty-nine", Mario auctioned. It looks like NHL won't allow him to return with his number 66. Apparently, nobody can ever wear his "retired jersey", not even him. Let's see how it ends up. Next time, I'll talk about what his return caused in Pittsburgh.

----------------------------------------------------------
and just one paragraph from 11/52, Dec. 27, 2000:

I'm in much a better shape than the last week. I felt great the last couple of games, I had my chances, I was shooting a lot, though I started scoring only in the game against Montreal. What helped me a lot was that I decided to remove a protective insert from my skate. It did not allow my leg to get to extreme positions, and so it protected my groin. But it had one disadvantage - it did not allow me to skate well. So I decided to risk an injury, just to get a little better. Before, I for example could not change the direction abruptly. When I tried to get past an opponent, the skate would not let me. I also had worse stability, but I felt safe. Now I can do whatever I want, however the risk is incomparably higher. Hopefully my groin will hold.

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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