Jarome Iginla isn’t ready to retire from NHL yet

The Hockey Night in Canada panel discuss all the news and rumours around the league including the possibility of Jarome Iginla returning to the NHL.

We’re almost a quarter of the way through the 2017-18, and Jarome Iginla is still without a team. According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, the veteran winger isn’t ready to call it quits just yet.

“Jarome Iginla wants to resume his NHL career—and not necessarily the one that he also has at the international level,” Kypreos said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “He had some minor surgery that was described to me as maintenance, but he wants to get ready to play.”

Iginla has 20 seasons worth of experience, 16 of which were spent with the Calgary Flames. He also had short stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings. The 40-year-old registered 625 goals and 675 assists for 1,300 points in 1,554 career NHL regular season games.

“We all know that the NHL teams out there use the American Thanksgiving as a bit of a gauge to reassess their team,” Kypreos said. “He’s hoping at that point that there will be enough interest where at least he can find a team that perhaps he might even skate with and be in a situation, much like others have, with a PTO—player tryout—and wait for his opportunity to sign.”

Because he’s still without an NHL deal, Iginla is eligible to suit up for Team Canada at the upcoming 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The winger has represented Canada three times on the Olympic stage, winning gold twice (2002, 2010).

But Kyproes said the Olympic rings are not his priority this time around.

“The Olympics? They’re there, but it’s not his focus right now,” Kypreos said. “He’s expected to have a conversation with general manager of Team Canada, Sean Burke, but that probably won’t come much later until at least he’s explored all his options in the National Hockey League.”