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Jagr: I’ll play until 70 to beat Gretzky

Jan 12, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

New Jersey Devils' Marek Zidlicky (2), of the Czech Republic, is congratulated by teammates Stephen Gionta (11), Travis Zajac (19) and Jaromir Jagr (68), also of the Czech Republic, after scored the winning goal in overtime to defeat the Florida Panthers 2-1 an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz) AP

When Jaromir Jagr tied Mario Lemieux in career points on Tuesday, he wasn’t happy. His team had lost in overtime to Philadelphia and his concerns about the mistakes they had been making took precedence over his personal accomplishment.

The Devils won last night as he claimed sole possession of seventh place in the NHL’s all-time points list, so naturally he was in a much better mood.

The 41-year-old forward suggested that he would play until 70 to make up the 1,133 point gap that remains between him and Wayne Gretzky.

“Hey, I can do it,” Jagr told the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. “If somebody can do it, I can do it.”

Obviously he was joking, but the kernel of truth is that Jagr isn’t looking to retire anytime soon. He previously said that this wouldn’t be his last year of hockey “as long as I don’t die” and added that he would simply play somewhere else if he couldn’t find work in the NHL beyond the 2013-14 campaign.

Given that he has 13 goals, 36 points, and a team-leading plus-13 rating in 46 games, it seems reasonable to assume he’ll be pursued if he decides to test the free agent waters this summer.

And while Gretzky isn’t a realistic goal, he might end up surpassing Steve Yzerman, Marcel Dionne, and Ron Francis before he hangs up his skates.

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