Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr's Deke - Reflex magazine - 8-Feb-01
by Jaromir Jagr
When I was writing about the All Star Game in my last column, I had no idea that I eventually wouldn't go to Denver. I got injured in the last game at home and had to give the trip up. I'm writing this before the actual game, and I won't talk about what is wrong with me. That's quite usual in the NHL. You can bet that if, for example, your opponent finds out that you cannot hold your stick, they are going to slash your hand at least 10 times during the game.
It happened when I got the puck near the board and tried to pass it. I totally missed the giant Fedorenko coming onto me, and when he hit me, I pretty much get smashed into the boards. In addition, I hit the glass with my head, and got a mild concussion. At the very moment I fell, Kevin Stevens jumped on Fedorenko, and our biggest "killer" - Oliwa, jumped from the bench. Quite a big fight resulted from that, Fedorenko left the ice with a cut, but I was still in the limbo. I finished the second period, but stayed off ice for the rest of the game.
The very next day Kip Miller calls me. "So long, they shipped me to the minors", he says. It really got me down. We played very well together, especially before, but we also used to occasionally go to a bar together, and he was great company. I felt sorry for him. "And you may not even know that Barnaby got traded to Tampa". I did not believe what I was hearing. I did not expect it so soon. I knew that Barny was not satisfied and that he wanted to play most of all, but I thought he would still get a chance. He's got his chance, but in Tampa. He was a good guy who helped me numerous times when somebody was beating me. But lately, he used to play only sporadically here in Pittsburgh, and so he asked for a trade. "I like it here, I'd like to stay here, but I want to play at the same time. So I'd like you to trade me. It will be better for me this way." Barny said to the management and so the club eventually respected his wish.
Recently, I got a visit from Ivan Hlinka and Frantisek Cernik at home. They asked me whether I am willing to commit to playing in the Olympics. And I said that I want to play. Actually, I have already talked about it with Augusta [the Czech national team coach] even before the start of the season. It is a great honor for me to represent. But I realized one funny thing. If we get to play our first game on February 14th, it will be quite an exceptional occasion for me. That day I'll turn, unfortunately, thirty.
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.
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