Jarime Iginla will turn 40 in July, and he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll return next year for a 23rd NHL season. If he doesn’t, though, the former Flame’s last game in Calgary will have been a memorable one.
Iginla was traded to the Penguins in 2013 after scoring 532 goals over 16 years with the Flames. Now with the Kings, on Wednesday night Iginla visited the Saddledome for what may be the last time. And he made it special by recording a Gordie Howe hat trick—that is, a goal, an assist, and a fight.
The fight came first, and it was a good one. Iginla and Deryk Engelland went toe-to-toe for a solid minute:
As for the goal, that was a bit of a technicality. Flames defenseman Mark Giordano actually put the puck in his own net, but since Iginla was the last King to touch the puck, he was credited for the goal:
After the game, Iginla talked about how special it was to get the Gordie Howe hat trick in Calgary:
Unfortunately, even if the Kings go undefeated the rest of the season, to make the playoffs they’d still need either the Flames or Blues to lose every game. So if this is Iginla’s last season, his career probably won’t end in a handshake line.