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Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr's Trade Reaction - Czech Press Agency - 12-Jul-01

Compilation of Jagr’s quotes from the article “The trade to Washington took Jagr by surprise”

“The only information I have ever had regarding that trade was connected with Rangers. I had no idea whatsoever about the interest of Washington and I guess Rangers thought they are the only bidder as well.

Jagr thinks that New York management felt probably even more secure after many other teams signed different free agents.

“A lot of teams withdrew, and Rangers, in my opinion, did not offer enough, because they thought they were the only ones. But why Pittsburgh chose just Washington, that’s up to anybody’s guess, you’d have to call Patrick directly.

Jagr sees one positive thing on the fact that he won’t end up in Rangers:

“I have always been successful against them. This year, I scored maybe 13 points, and I would definitely miss that” {with laughter}

What Craig Patrick told him on Wednesday at 10PM:

“First he told me that is not New York, and only after that he said that I would go to Washington. He thanked me for outstanding work that I have done for them, and wished me good luck.”

Immediately after that call he turned his cell phone off, and turned it back on only for a while after midnight, when he wanted to call his girlfriend Andrea Veresova in Italy. At that moment, though, he got a phone call from Mario Lemieux.

“He said that it’s business and that, unfortunately, he doesn’t have those billions like the Capitals owner does.”

About his new role in Washington:

“I don’t know what it will look like, and whether their style will suit me. But I believe that the coach will let me play my style, so that I can give the team everything I am capable of. If I were to play just the defense, I’d be pretty useless for them.

About Capitals:

“It’s a more defensively-minded team compared to Pittsburgh, because they have appropriate players for that style of game. But mainly the players were able to adjust to that, which is something one can’t say about Pittsburgh.”

“It’s a team with a lot of fighters who leave everything on ice. With outstanding players like Bondra, Oates, Gonchar, and with a great goalie. They were always dangerous against us.”

About Stanley Cup chances:

“These days it is more difficult to win Stanley Cup compared to the past. Before, there were many players that didn’t get paid that much, and teams were able to afford them. Now that the salaries rose, only a few teams that can afford the best player have a chance to win.”

“For example, there always were talented forwards in Pittsburgh, but they also always lacked something. You can be lucky and make it to the second, third round. But it is nearly impossible to beat a team like Colorado with five players worth 10 millions.

About the life without the Czech players (the only other Czech in Washington will be Kucera)

“I won’t miss Czechs, definitely not. I have always said that if a team wants to win the Stanley Cup, it should have at most six Europeans. It’s a different style of hockey, especially in the play-offs.”

“I don’t care who I am going to play with, I’m not demanding. The crucial thing is for everybody to go in the same direction. The excellent players have usually tough time adjusting to each other. I'd rather play with guys who are able to adjust to my style and fight. They don’t even have to be particularly good scorers.”

(As an example, he used Jan Hrdina and Kip Miller)

As far as his immediate plans: he will fly to Washington at the beginning of the new week – to have a press conference on Tuesday. He doesn’t plan to find a new house yet.

“I guess I won’t even go there before the camp. During that time, a lot of players live in hotels, anyway; plus we have a lot of away-games at the beginning of the season, so I have time. In addition, it’s just three hours by car to Pittsburgh, so I may as well decide to commute {with laughter}. And in my free time, I could go to some Pittsburgh games – but I’d better get prepared for a welcome that you get in a cow-house”.

On the fact that after 11 years he goes to the team against which he debuted in 1990:

“I sure do remember that game. I started on the first line, but gradually I was moved down, and I didn’t even get to play in the third period.”

The same game also marked the debut of the most productive Capital, and new Jagr’s teammate, Peter Bondra.

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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