Jaromir Jagr is a legend.
Jagr organized a charity hockey game in Prague to raise money for the people of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin and the country of Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, 2022.
Jagr, who is currently 50 years old, is the owner of the Kladno Knights team in the Czech League. Jagr is also playing for the team, where he has eight goals and 19 points in 42 games this season. The roster also includes former Montreal Canadiens’ forward Tomas Plekanec.
Jagr decided to move his final regular-season home game vs HC Sparta on Tuesday to a larger arena in Prague. Jagr announced on Facebook that he wanted to move the game to benefit Ukrainian families who are seeking refuge in the Czech Republic. All ticket proceeds from the game would go to the people of Ukraine.
Jagr’s home arena only hosts 5,200 people, so he moved the game to Sparta’s larger home arena. The O2 Arena in Prague is huge and can seat 18,000 fans. Jagr doesn’t usually play in away games, but he knew moving the game to Prague would raise more money for the people of Ukraine.
The charity game was played on Tuesday, and the result was incredible. Hockey fans from all over Europe showed up to the game wearing different variations of the Jagr jersey. The Ukraine National Anthem was played before puck drop. All the players in the game put blue and yellow tape on their sticks.
According to reporters at the event, the entire crowd chanted “Ukraine'” numerous times throughout the game. There was also a point in the game when a group of Ukrainian refugees told their story on the jumbotron. The crowd gave them a standing ovation.
Here’s a couple visuals of the spectacle at O2 Arena:
— HC Sparta Praha (@HCSpartaPraha) March 8, 2022
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman even made an appearance on the jumbotron. For once, the crowd didn’t boo him. Bettman announced, in lieu of Jagr’s charity game, that the NHL would be donating $68,000 to help Ukraine.
The NHL @NHL commissioner Gary Bettman just appeared on the jumbotron in @o2arenapraha to greet the Czech fans and especially former NHL star Jaromir Jagr @68Jagr of @RytiriKladno who runs the game @telhcz to support the Ukraine's refugees. NHL will donate with 68 000 USD! pic.twitter.com/7Rhg4PRYtK
— Zdenek Janda (@zdenek_janda) March 8, 2022
Sparta won the game 4-1 over Kladno, but the result didn’t matter much to the players and fans. This was about two teams coming together to take a stand.
Jagr has been retired from the NHL for five years, but he’s still having a huge impact on the game of hockey. It’s awesome to see Jagr use his influence to raise money for such a great cause.
Jagr didn’t need to stand with Ukraine, but his efforts showcase the type of person he is off the ice. Jagr is forever a legend.