Jaromir Jagr, the third-leading goal-scorer in NHL history, said Kladno, the team he owns in the Czech Extraliga, will move its final regular-season game to O2 Arena in Prague on Tuesday to raise money for refugees from Ukraine who have fled to the Czech Republic.
Jagr had posted on Facebook on Thursday that he wanted to move the game against Sparta from the team’s home arena to the larger O2 Arena, which can hold approximately 18,000. Kladno’s arena, Zimni Stadion, has a capacity of about 5,200.
Jagr asked for people to show their support for the move, and received nearly 1,000 responses on his post, before announcing Friday the change would take place. He wrote he was hoping to sell out O2 Arena in order to benefit Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s invasion of the country.
“We would dedicate the proceeds from the entrance fee to Ukrainian families,” he wrote. “I would like to make this happen in the O2 Arena, because it is a popular and modern arena, where a large number of people can come to help. I would like your opinion if you would come to the match and help us in this way those who need it the most at this time.”
On Friday, Jagr wrote, “I am very happy to confirm that everything was successful even in such a short time. Now our only wish is to sell out the O2 Arena. Buy a ticket and help those Ukrainian families in the Czech Republic!”
O2 Arena is Sparta’s home arena, but Kladno would be the home team for the game.
Jagr, 50, has played for Kladno for the past five seasons since he left the NHL after the 2017=18 seasons. He scored 766 goals through 24 seasons for nine teams and is third all-time in goals behind Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801). Jagr is three goals ahead of Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin.
A five-time Art Ross Trophy winner as the NHL’s top scorer and Hart Trophy winner, voted as NHL most valuable player in 1998-99, Jagr won the Stanley Cup twice, with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992.
He chose his uniform No. 68 to remember 1968, the year Soviet tanks entered Czechoslovakia to stop the Prague Spring.