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Jaromir Jagr passes Gordie Howe to become oldest professional hockey player

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Jaromir Jagr returned to action Thursday for the first time since turning 52 and immediately scored as he surpassed legend Gordie Howe to become the oldest player taking regular shifts in professional ice hockey.

Howe, known as "Mr. Hockey," was 52 years, 11 days old when played his final NHL game in 1980. The Canadian later played a single shift with the Detroit Vipers in the International Hockey League in 1997 at the age of 69. Howe died in 2016.

Jagr hadn't played since Feb. 10 — five days before he turned 52 — and rejoined his Kladno Knights, a top-division team from his Czech Republic hometown, in the second game of a playoff relegation series against Vsetin.

The former NHL great in his first shift was unmarked when he collected the puck in front of goal and scored to give Kladno a 1-0 lead 1:59 into the game.

It was Jagr's 16th game in his 36th professional season. He also also added an assist. Kladno won the game 7-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

During his break, Jagr traveled to Pittsburgh where the Penguins retired his iconic No. 68 on Feb 18. The city also honored Jagr with a proclamation.

Jagr was drafted by the Penguins at No. 5 overall in the 1990 draft and spent 11 seasons in Pittsburgh. He was the NHL's MVP in 1999 and was a key piece on Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

He won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL scoring champion five times while in Pittsburgh and tallied 1,079 points with the Penguins.

Jagr made his debut for Kladno as a teenager and returned to the club — which he now owns — in 2018 after the Calgary Flames released the NHL's second-all-time leading point-scorer.

It's not clear when he might retire.

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