BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - APRIL 30: Jaromir Jagr of Czech Republic looks dejected during the IIHF World Championship group D match between Czech Republic and Latvia at Orange Arena on April 30, 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Jaromir Jagr is ready for the new challenge that waits for him in Philadelphia, but admits there will be a lot of new things waiting for him that he needs to get used to. He even compares the current situation to the beginning of his career in Pittsburgh.
"I’m going to an unfamiliar environment. It will take a while to get used to everything. It’s comparable to when I started my career in North America when I was 18. I’m not saying it will be similar, my first year was worse, of course. I couldn’t talk and everything was new. Back then I didn’t even know if I’d still be there next year, I was actually thinking about returning home. So it’s a slightly different situation now, when I’ve been to North America before and I know what I’m getting myself into."
"But it will be a new team for me and I haven’t played there in three years, so a lot of things will be new to me this time as well. Everything will depend on how I’ve prepared myself for the season and how we’ll do as a team. It’s easier for you to do well if the team does well. Everything becomes easier. We just have to wait and see how it goes."
Jagr doesn’t mind if people have low expectations for him.
"That’s just fine for me. At least I won’t have any pressure. It would be worse if everyone expected a great performance and I wouldn’t fulfill their expectations. You can only be a huge disappointment that way, but now I really have nothing to lose."
Jagr arrived pretty late for the Flyers training camp compared to the other players. He says he’s been busy running his hockey team in Kladno. But now the focus shifts from Jagr the GM to Jagr the player.
"The last few days have been so hectic. But you could say that everything looks good now. Maybe not quite perfect, but the basement [for the club] has been built. Now I have to focus on myself."
Jagr doesn’t worry about arriving a little later and says he rather takes it that way.
"It’s better if I just jump straight into it than wait around and have nothing to do. We’ll just train the first three days or so, so I can look around for a house then and if I can’t find one, I’ll wait until the camp is over. At least I won’t get bored."
This report was based off of a Czech-language story in the publication iDnes.