Jagr Happy, Rich in Siberia

Former NHL star finds 'real freedom' playing (for big money) in outpost of Omsk
By Doug Sweeney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2008 6:38 PM CST

(Newser) – Jaromir Jagr is far from New York, playing hockey in Siberia, yet he tells the Atlantic he’s happy in the outpost of Omsk. Indeed, his $11 million salary helps cushion the blow of not being re-signed by the Rangers. And "in Russia, you have the real freedom, which is not like US freedom,” he says. “Back there you have so many rules.”

The Czech-born Jagr played 17 years in the NHL, and still has the game to skate stateside. But a booming economy has gotten Russian teams into the bidding for top players. “As a kid I wanted to play for the NHL, and I never thought about Omsk,” he said. “But life is crazy. The world just moves so quickly.” (Read more hockey stories.)