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Jaromir Jagr can’t compare his Penguins to these Penguins because there will never be another Mario Lemieux

05.28.13 at 1:50 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about a loaded Penguins team, it’s Jaromir Jagr. He used to be a part of one.

Jagr was on the stacked Pitsburgh teams of the early 90s. He won back-to-back Cups in 1991 and 1992 playing with the likes of Mario Lemiuex, Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens and Paul Coffey. Today’s Penguins feature a similarly impressive group, with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and James Neal, among others.

Jagr has seen a lot in his time in the NHL, but when asked how his Penguins compare to these Penguins, he said he still hasn’t seen anybody like Lemieux.

“All the respect to Malkin and Crosby,” Jagr said. “They’re great players, but Mario Lemieux was Mario Lemieux. That guy was special. I’m not saying those guys are not able to take control of the game, but the way he did it back then, nobody is even close. And they’re great players — the best in the world — but nobody was like Mario Lemieux.”

So would Jagr’s Penguins teams beat Crosby’s Penguins teams?

“I’m not saying that,” Jagr said. “It’s different. ‘€¦ Back then, Mario was just unstoppable.”

Jagr is the last active player of those Cup-winning Penguins teams that eliminated the B’s in the conference finals both years. He’s 41 but he still feels he has something to give, so he doesn’t seem surprised that he’s played long enough to find himself on the other end of the same matchup.

“If you love something, no matter what it is, if you love your job, wife, some person or something, you just want to be with it all the time,” Jagr said. “For me, I love this game so as long as I can play, I want to play. That’s the reason I’m playing. I just love it.”

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