A good thirty minutes before his teammates joined him Thursday morning, Jaromir Jagr was on the ice skating as hard as he could.
Jagr didn’t want to leave Tuesday’s game early and doesn’t want to miss any more time.
Whether he plays Friday against Boston is not known.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Jagr, who said he felt pain in his ribs that led to painful breathing.
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“I was feeling good early, then it got sore,” he added. “Every 24 hours makes a huge difference. My side is kind of off, it’s not just my leg. I don’t know if I got hit or something.”
The 43-year-old winger said he has been hurting for the past week, and whatever his malady is — coach Gerard Gallant said it’s a groin/hip issue — has slowed him a bit.
“I want to play every game but I have to be able to play,” Jagr said.
“I’ll go in morning skate and see what happens. I haven’t been able to skate but I was still scoring, so I wanted to keep playing. At least I could help the team somehow. Then I went for acupuncture and the pain was a lot less but my muscles kind of got weaker. I had no support on that side so I had to leave. If I kept playing, I think it was going to get worse and then you’re looking at three weeks.”
Gallant said he has no plans to rush Jagr back into the lineup.
If Jagr says he can play, he plays. If not, he continues to rest and get treatment.
“He will tell me when he’s ready,” Gallant said. “He felt good today, but it’s still day-to-day.”
With Jagr leaving Tuesday’s game late in the first and center Sasha Barkov out with a broken bone in his hand, the Panthers brought up rookie Logan Shaw from their AHL team in Portland, Maine.
Shaw, 23, was a third-round pick by the Panthers in 2011 and impressed coaches both in training camp and in Portland.
On Thursday, Shaw worked with the fourth line but stepped in for Jagr when he left practice near the end.
Jagr had, after all, done plenty of work before practice even started.
“I don’t think it is anything serious,” Gallant said. “We just want him right. We don’t want a player out there playing hurt, especially at his age. It takes a little longer. He’s going to be OK. He’ll play either Friday or Saturday. He’ll tell us when he’s ready.”
Shaw was born a year before the Panthers started play in 1993, but as a youngster his parents in Nova Scotia bought him a junior-sized Panthers jersey.
Although Shaw doesn’t know when he’ll make his NHL debut — if Jagr plays Friday, Shaw could be the odd man out with Shawn Thornton expected to play against his former Boston teammates — he knows he’ll be getting a full-sized Florida sweater once he does.
“I was 4 and for Christmas I got a Florida Panthers jersey,’’ Shaw said.
“Why, I don’t know. I grew up on the east coast where it’s all about Toronto, Montreal, Boston. I guess I just loved the jersey. It’s surreal right now. It’s pretty special. When I got drafted, two of my best friends — 6-feet, 200 pounds — had the baby jersey on. It was pretty funny.”
Shaw will wear No. 48 with the Panthers as the 11 he wore in junior is taken by Jonathan Huberdeau and his No. 22 from Portland and San Antonio belongs to Thornton.
“Whenever it happens, it’s a dream come true,’’ Shaw said. “This is what I’ve worked for. It will be pretty special to put that jersey on.”
▪ Defenseman Dylan Olsen, who didn’t play in the preseason or in Florida’s first nine games, was sent to Portland to make room for Shaw.
▪ Friday is the first meeting of the season between Florida and Boston, two Atlantic Division teams that helped knock each other out of the playoff race last year.
“My first year in Boston, it seemed like we always cleaned up against the Panthers,” said forward Reilly Smith, who came to Florida from Boston in exchange for Jimmy Hayes on July 1.
“Last year was definitely different. They were a lot stingier on defense, only let in one or two goals. We knew every game was going to be hard. We were both in for a dogfight.”
Friday: Bruins at Panthers
When, where: 7:30 p.m., BB&T Center, Sunrise.
TV, radio: FSFL; WQAM (560 AM), WMEN (640 AM), WNMA (1210 AM).
Series: Boston leads 43-34-6
Scouting report: The Panthers have lost 16 of the past 20 to Boston, but they did win two of the final three meetings last season, including both at home. The two teams split the season series last year with three of the four games going to overtime. Boston has won four of its past five games and two straight after an 0-3 start.