It’s been quite the legendary week for Jaromir Jagr. First, the Florida Panthers forward tie Mark Messier for second place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. Now he has gifted a stuffed monkey to one of his teammates. And a real one might be on the way.
The 44-year-old Jagr is notorious not only for his skill and longevity, but also his sense of humor. The endless book of Jagr anecdotes got another chapter this week.
We begin here, via an excellent profile of Jagr by TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
[Nick] Bjugstad, 24, sits next to Jagr on the plane. He said Jagr has constantly been talking about buying a monkey.
“He keeps telling me he is going to buy two monkeys, one for me and one for him,” Bjugstad said. “I keep trying to tell him it’s illegal to own a monkey, or something. I don’t know what we’d do when we go on the road.”
“If people can have poisonous snakes, why can’t you have a monkey?” Jagr shouted back across the locker room.
Jagr said there may be a surprise involved.
“You know how on Christmas morning, some people get a ring at the doorbell and there’s a big package with a bow on the top?” Jagr asked. “There’s going to be a monkey inside for Bjuggy. It’s going to be awesome.”
If there’s any player in the NHL that could get away with walking around everywhere with a monkey on his shoulder, it would certainly be Jagr.
Bjugstad finally snapped out of his scoring funk and tallied his first goal of the season on Tuesday night. So, to celebrate his teammate’s drought being over, Jagr followed through on his promise. He presented Bjugstad with a monkey.
Okay, so it wasn’t a real monkey, but that’s about as close as you’ll get to a lifelike monkey without actually having to file some legal paperwork. Not to mention it’s still a very cute and very generous offering from Mr. Jagr. I wonder if he picked out the adorable pink outfit himself.
Anyway, being teammates with Jaromir Jagr seems like a good time.