On the eve of the start of the European championships, we recall the main veterans in the history of the KHL, who do not want to part with hockey and finish their playing careers outside the Russian league. We note right away that in this material only players who are over 35 years old were considered.
Jaromir Jagr, 50 years old (Kladno, Czech Republic)
Of course, the legendary Czech forward Jaromir Jagr opens the list of veterans. On February 15, 2022, the great striker turned 50 years old, but he still continues his playing career. Over the past five years, Jaromir has been playing in his homeland, defending the colors of his own club, Kladno, which is owned by the hockey player.
Last season, Jagr played 43 matches in the elite division of the Czech championship, managing to score 19 points in them. Very decent statistics for a player who has already exchanged sixty. But the most important achievement for Jagr was that Kladno managed to survive in the qualifying round, having managed to maintain a place in the main division of the Czech championship for this season.
In early August, Jágr, who combines a playing career with a managerial position at the club, announced that he would miss the start of the season, as he needed to adequately staff the club. At the same time, Jaromir once again confirmed his intention to continue to go out on the ice and continue his career, which has been going on since 1984 (!) Of the year. Absolute fantasy.
50-year-old Jagr said that with a high degree of probability will miss the start of the new season
Jakub Klepish, 38 years old (Kladno, Czech Republic)
One of the players that Jagr managed to attract to Kladno was his former Avangard partner, Jakub Klepish. In the 2008/2009 season, Jaromir became the top scorer of the Omsk club in the first KHL regular season in history, and Yakub closed the top 5 in the list of the hawks’ best players. A year later, they played together again in Russia, and now they are reuniting in their homeland.
“I’m waiting for the start of performances for Kladno. I have already played with Jagr. The city’s location played a big role in the transition. I live in Prague, I have two small sons, so this is a big advantage. And I also had a good feeling from the conversation that took place with Jaromir, ”Klepish said after signing the contract.
The famous Czech is a two-time winner of the Gagarin Cup, and he won the coveted trophies in the composition of different teams. In 2011, Klepish became the champion with Salavat Yulaev, and the following year he experienced the joy of champion champagne in Dynamo Moscow. It is curious that Yakub won his last victory in the KHL on the Omsk ice, but not in Avangard, but just over Avangard. In 2012, it was Klepish’s goal in the seventh match against the Hawks that brought the Gagarin Cup to Dynamo Moscow.
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Patrik Thoresen, 38 years old (Storhamar, Norway)
In no hurry to retire and another iconic figure in the history of Russian hockey – Norwegian forward Patrick Thoresen. At 38 years old, the former SKA and Salavat Yulaev forward dominates his native Norwegian championship, knocking out one and a half points per match on average – 52 points in 37 matches.
The two-time Gagarin Cup winner is the captain of his native Storhamar, trying to help the team win the championship title, which it last took in 2018. Last season, Thoresen’s club reached the final series of the Norwegian championship, where they were defeated by Stavanger.
Dominik Granyak, 39 years old (Sparta, Czech Republic)
The Slovak defender spent only four seasons in the KHL, but during this time he managed to leave a huge mark on the history of Dynamo Moscow. Fans of the blue and white still remember the defender with warmth in their hearts, who made a huge contribution to both victories of the capital’s team in the KHL. Granyak played for Dynamo from 2010 to 2014, having managed to become a two-time winner of the Gagarin Cup and the Continental Cup.
After the unsuccessful playoffs in 2014 and the defeat from Lokomotiv in Moscow, they did not renew the contract with the defender, and Granyak went to play in Sweden. Since 2017, Dominik has been playing in the Czech Republic, where he managed to play for several teams. In this off-season, he changed clubs again, moving from Pilsen to Sparta.
Jarkko Immonen, 40 years old (Yukurit, Finland)
In 2015, one of the strongest center forwards in the history of the KHL left for Switzerland. The Finn, known for his consistency at the face-off point, spent two seasons with Zug. In the summer of 2017, Immonen returned to his homeland and did not lose. Jarkko was recognized as the gentleman of the year, and together with UP he won the hockey Champions League.
He spent last season with Yukurit, scoring 28 points in 60 regular season games as an assistant captain. Yarkko’s game at the start of the season impressed the club bosses so much that already in November the contract with the winner of the Gagarin Cup – 2009 was extended for another season, which the striker enters at the age of 40.
Petri Kontiola, 37 years old (Ilves, Finland)
At home, another well-known Finn, Petri Kontiola, is finishing his hockey career. Having played over 600 games in the KHL, the 37-year-old striker helped Ilves get to the bronze medals of the Finnish championship last season.
Petri is not just an assistant to the team captain, but also one of its main striking forces. Last season, he became the club’s second top scorer, scoring 38 points in 52 regular season games and adding another seven points to them in 13 playoff games.
Roman Chervenka, 36 years old (Rappersville-Jona, Switzerland)
Having become the best sniper in the KHL as part of the Avangard, Chervenka unsuccessfully tried to conquer the NHL. After winning the Gagarin Cup with SKA, he returned to the Czech Republic, but after becoming the absolute best player in the Extraleague, he soon got bored and settled in Switzerland for many years. In the same championship, Roman will play in the new season.
At 36, Chervenka not only does not think about ending her career, but it seems that she is experiencing a second or already third youth. Last season, Roman knocked out an amazing 64 points in 52 Swiss regular games and had an amazing year at the international level. At the World Championship, Cervenka scored 17 points in 10 meetings, becoming the best assistant of the tournament. Largely due to the excellent game of Roman, the Czech team eventually reached the bronze medals of the world championship.