Despite talk that Jagr is past his prime, the former New York Rangers' right wing helped lead the team to the playoffs in 2005 for the first time in eight years. He's as well known for his history of heavy gambling and tax troubles as for his slap shots.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Jagr started skating at the age of three and was quickly snapped up by the NHL (right as the Iron Curtain was falling). He began his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and was a supporting member of the Penguins' back-to-back Stanley Cup wins in 1991 and 1992. By the mid-90s he was one of the highest scorers in the league, but by the early aughts, particularly in light of beloved Mario Lemieux's return from retirement, the Penguins could not afford both stars' salaries and Jagr moved to the Washington Capitals with one of the largest contracts in NHL history. However, Jagr failed to live up to the hype—and his paycheck—and he was quickly traded to the New York Rangers. Mark Messier had just retired, and the team had not made it to the playoffs in seven years, so the outlook was grim, but Jagr played well, with scoring records shattered in his wake, and in the 2006-7 season, the Rangers finally made it to the play-offs. After his success with the Rangers, the aging Jagr has since played with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Dallas Stars, and he better keep earning a paycheck: although he claims he does not have a gambling problem, he once paid $950,000 in debts that he accrued on an internet gambling site over a four year period. [Image via Getty]