In Calgary for likely the final time of his Hall of Fame career, Jarome Iginla recorded the 11th Gordie Howe hat trick of his career as the Kings pulled off a 4-1 win on Thursday to keep their miniscule playoff hopes alive. The former Flames captain had a badass tilt with Deryk Engelland (one of the best this season), assisted on Jeff Carter's third-period goal, and was credited with the game winner on Mark Giordano's weird blunder late in the second frame.
Going toe-to-toe with one of the tougher guys in the league, Iginla held his own as the two heavyweights traded bombs in one of the most spirited scraps of the season. The assist to Carter is what capped off The Gordie, but the game-winning goal, as weird as it was, is certainly the most special of the three feats on the night.
With credit on the 2-1 goal, Iginla became just the seventh player in NHL history to record at least 100 career game-winning goals. Of his 624 career goals, nearly 16 percent of them have been game winners. It's a truly remarkable feat putting him in a class with Howe, Jaromir Jagr, Phil Esposito, Teemu Selanne, Brendan Shanahan, and Brett Hull as the only players ever to put up triple-digit GWGs.
Iginla is easily one of the most beloved players in Flames history and one of the most impactful athletes to ever call Calgary home. Over 16 seasons with the Flames, the six-time All-Star played in 1,219 games, putting up franchise records in goals (525) and points (1,095) while serving nine seasons as the club's captain. Though he didn't deliver a Cup to Cowtown, Iginla and the Flames came as close as possible to making that happen, losing in Game 7 to Tampa Bay in 2004.
Iginla becomes a free agent on July 1, the same day he turns 40 years old. With a declining skill set and diminishing production over the past several seasons, it's more likely than not that Iginla will decide to hang them up after this campaign. If he does, he's going out the only way he knows how—scrapping and scoring.