And now his tenure with the Panthers is over.
Making official what was suspected for some time, the Panthers revealed Saturday that they are going forward without the future Hall of Fame forward. On a day dominated by free-agent signings, including adding forwards Evgeny Dadonov, Radim Vrbata and Micheal Haley, the biggest news out of Florida was that Jagr is no longer in the Panthers' plans.
"I can't say enough. It was an honor to be touched by a legend," said general manager Dale Tallon, who ultimately made the call to move on. "I was torn. It was a tough couple weeks, or months -- whatever it was. Can't thank him enough. What he did for our kids, for myself and everyone in this organization, you can't measure it."
Jagr, meanwhile, wants to play at least one more season in the NHL. He took to Twitter on Thursday to say that no team has shown any interest in signing him.
He was with the Panthers for two-and-a-half seasons. He'll turn 46 next season, still wants to play and is coming off a 46-point season for a Florida team that wasn't exactly loaded with offensive weaponry. But in the end, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that the two sides were simply too far apart on financial terms to make any more talks feasible.
Jagr was a massive presence in the locker room, and teammates picked his brain constantly about his obsession with fitness and how he keeps his game as sharp as possible. He's the No. 2 all-time scorer in NHL history, behind only Wayne Gretzky.
"I think it's time now for our guys to take over," Tallon said. "Our core young guys need to take over this team."
Tallon said the Panthers needed to get younger and faster -- part of the thinking behind the decisions to move on from Jagr and give forward Jussi Jokinen a buyout on Saturday. The 34-year-old Jokinen had 28 points in 69 games last season.
"It's just a matter of going in a different direction," Tallon said.