The last send-off of an icon wasn’t what a city had envisioned, or the man merited.

Ghostly reminders of past glories, irretrievable greatness, indelible moments, relegated to colour-splash pixels up on a JumboTron during a TV timeout. Jarome Iginla was actually, physically, in the air, cruising at around 30,000 feet, winging his way to the banks of the Allegheny, while 19,289 rose as one to salute his vast accomplishments, his lasting legacy, as a Calgary Flame.

“Really?” marvelled Iginla two days later, when informed of the tribute second-hand by a visiting scribbler/stalker at the Consol Energy Center, kitty-corner from downtown Pittsburgh. “I appreciate that.”

A wistful smile.

“Wish I’d had the chance to be there.”

Miikka Kiprusoff, luckily enough, has his chance.

With mounting speculation that the flexible Finn has in fact decided to retire at season’s end, Wednesday night or maybe Friday might just be the last opportunity for fans to say goodbye to the finest goaltending talent this franchise has ever known.

To stand up one final time for a pickpocket with fingers as light as one of Fagin’s lads.

To salute a singular talent.

To let him know how much he’s meant to the big team in this town.

“Yeah, I’ve thought about it,” was as much as Kiprusoff would concede publicly on Tuesday. “Especially now when you guys bring it up. But . . . yeah. Like I say, there’s a chance.”

Deep down, in his heart, you sense, he’s made the call.

With a year left on a contract that dips to $1.5 million next season, faced at 36 with the drawn-out pain of an organizational rebuild, dissatisfied with the season he’s suffered through and his workload since returning from a month-long knee injury, there seems no way back now.

The timbre of Kiprusoff’s voice, his very body-language belies the political correctness of the “wait-until-summer” mantra he’s adopted since trade-deadline day. When he says “I don’t think it’s the right time to make any decisions” it can be interpreted as “I don’t think it’s the right time to announce my decision.”