It's been a long time between assist number 1 and number 1,000. Jagr started his NHL career in Pittsburgh when he was 18 years old (subsequently, I was 12). When he took to the ice on Oct. 19, 1990, he tallied his first assist of his career against Buffalo on a goal from "Double Z" Zarley Zalapski. Now, almost 23 years later, he gets number 1,000. Here's a quote from an interview he did after the game...
"I never thought about any assists and points, I was happy to be able to play here. When I came here, I didn't think I'd have a chance to play here. The League was too strong and too tough for me. I kept working hard and I've had so many good players around me, they showed me the way of how to get better. I really was pretty lucky. I always said you have to be lucky with who you play with and I had a chance to play with so many great players."Lucky indeed. Of the other 11 guys who scored 1,000 career assists, he was teammates with four of them: Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, and of course, Mario Lemieux.
I picked up a few more Jagr cards for my PC last weekend at the Sun Time Sports show. Now would probably be as good a time as any to share.
Here he's saying "I wish I would have never left Pittsburgh."
What? That could have been what he said.
I saw this card and was puzzled at first. The 1994 SP cards should have had Jagr in a Pens uni but here he was as a Capital. Since I wasn't actively collecting, I was unaware that the 2002-03 SP set was a 10th Anniversary. These were numbered out of the original year...1994, and there is that nifty "10" silver foil stamped in the corner.