LOS ANGELES—LA Kings right wing Jerome Iginla announced he wanted to continue his professional hockey career on Wednesday, April 12 among reports he might retire after he becomes a free agent in July.
The Kings lost 4-3 in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks during their final game of the regular season on April 9.
“I know we didn’t make [playoffs] but until our last four, every game felt like a big deal and it was a big deal in the standings,” said Iginla in a statement. “It was exciting and I would like to keep playing,” he added.
Iginla, 39, is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and began playing for the Kings on March 1 after he was traded from the Colorado Avalanche under then-head coach Darryl Sutter. Sutter coached him when he made his NHL debut with the Calgary Flames in 1996.
He noted that team officials, including General Manager Rob Blake, may not consider resigning him after July 1 when he becomes a free agent, and exits a three-year $16 million contract with the Avalanche.
To date, Iginla has played 1,554 games and scored 1,300 points. He is currently ranked 34th on the all-time scoring list for the NHL. Prior to the trade, Iginla had eight goals and 18 points in 61 games for the Avalanche. With the Kings, he scored six goals and nine points in 19 games. If Los Angeles was willing to extend the contract, he would be open to it.
“I don’t know if [that would be] an option from their point of view,” Iginla said. “From my point of view that would be an option.”
After not making the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and replacing Darryl Sutter and Dean Lombardi, President Luc Robitaille said during a press conference on April 10, going forward, the Kings plan to strive for the success they have attained in the past.
“[Wearing a Kings jersey] represents something special,” Robitaille said. “It represents winning; it represents excellence; and it represents this city and our fans.”