Jaromir Jagr: I Will Always Remember Him
Tuesday October 21st 2008, 7:43 am

Following Avangard’s somber victory in Omsk on Monday, Jaromir Jagr spoke to Championat.ru about the game, his teammate and friend, Alexei Cherepanov, and what the last week has been like for him.

Our fans know, that we need them. Today was very difficult for people. We played, but they couldn’t do anything – couldn’t shout or make a noise. And at the same time, they supported us how they could. Hardly anything worked out for us in the game today, but nevertheless we were able to use our chances on the power play, and played well in the last ten minutes. But it was very complicated to play today. Not only morally, but physically too. We had had a interruption in training…

- Today’s opponent was an outsider in the standings. And ahead there are still seven games in two weeks…

- I don’t even know what to tell you, other than that it will be very, very difficult. But what can we do? Such is our fate: It’ll be hard, but we have to play. We have to! It will be difficult — no one will simply give us the games. I hope that we will be able to improve game by game. Right now none of the guys feel very good, but all the same we have to win.

– How do you think it turned out with Anton Kuryanov on your line?

- We never played together before. But the coach decided that it would be better this way. I hope that already in the next match it will be a little easier physically and we will be more effective.

- In an interview, Wayne Fleming said that he now feels even greater respect for you. Despite all that’s happened, you’ve stood firm, tried to support the other guys…

- As you know, I’m one of the oldest on the team. And even though it was sad for me, I had to play.

- This week was probably the most difficult for you in your life?

- Especially the first days — they were very terrible for me. Now a week has passed, and you know, memories of Alexei come back more and more often, I think about him 50 times a day. We worked together, socialized on and off the ice. I will always remember him. In life anything can happen. And it’s not always easy. You break up with a girlfriend, play badly, and you think that life is bad. But when you’re confronted with such a tragedy, then you understand that nothing can compare to it. Yes, it’s painful now. But you have to go out and play, everyone’s counting on you. It’s hard, but you have to, even if you totally don’t have the strength, there’s nothing, and even the victory doesn’t make you happy. Only one thing remains — to have faith that everything will be OK.

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3 Comments so far
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    Jaromir the first two years after the lockout was a pleasure to watch on the ice game in and out. It was a privilege for me and my son to have been at msg for almost all those games watching him. Maybe he wasn’t the player he was back a few years with the Pens, but his play was still amazing and he helped bring back respect to the NYR. Last year was difficult and the team took a step back in my opinion and needed to get fresh again, so new blood has been injected and the play is inspired once again (except for last nite!).

    A greater inspiration has been Jaromir dealing with this tragedy. His words as always are straight forward and heartfelt. The pain he feels is apparent visually and in print. He has a different burden on him now than he did coming to the Rangers when he did and he’s taking it on with the same grace and strength he did here. He’s proving to be a greater man off the ice than on it.

    Comment by Alan 10.21.08 @ 1:08 pm

    Thanks again for this, Laurie. Hope to meet you one day at msg.

    Comment by Alan 10.21.08 @ 1:09 pm

    I think winning the championship is the best thing they can do, Jagr can do, for himself, the team mates for themselves and for Cherepanov. That’s what he would have wanted. GO MAN GO

    Comment by Why...Oh why...Why,why 10.22.08 @ 7:10 pm

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