On January 11, 1976, the Flyers played Russia's vaunted Red Army team (CSKA) at the Spectrum. In the first period of a still-scoreless game, Van Impe exited the penalty box after serving a hooking penalty. Catching star Russian forward Valeri Kharlamov with his head down, van Impe arrived in an ill-humor and sent Kharlamov sprawling to the ice with a heavy body-check.
Claiming that Van Impe elbowed Kharlamov, Red Army coach Konstantin Loktev demanded a penalty. When none was forthcoming, Loktev pulled his players from the ice and the CSKA team returned to the dressing room. After a delay of roughly 15 minutes, the Soviet team returned to finish the game.
The Flyers went on to win, 4-1.
Late in the 1975-76 season, the Flyers traded the soon-to-be 36-year-old defenseman and backup goaltender Bobby Taylor to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a deal that sent backup goaltender Gary Inness, a 1977 eighth-round draft choice (goaltender Pete Peeters), a 1977 ninth-round pick (Tom Bauer), a 1977 10th-round pick (Rob Nicholson) and a 1977 11th-round pick (Jim Trainor) to Philadelphia.
Over the remainder of the 1975-76 season and stretching into the next season, Van Impe played a combined 22 games before retiring. Overall, Van Impe played 700 NHL regular season games (27 goals, 126 assists, 153 points, 1,025 penalty minutes) and 66 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs (one goal,12 assists, 13 points, 131 penalty minutes). As a Flyer, he played 617 games in the regular season, posting 19 goals, 107 assists, 126 points and 892 penalty minutes. For his Flyers playoff career, he appeared in 57 games, scoring one goal and adding 11 assists for 12 points, while compiling 121 penalty minutes.
After retiring as a player, Van Impe served for a time as a Flyers broadcast analyst. He later focused on business interests and his personal life.
A second cousin, Darren Van Impe, later played in the NHL. Thirty-three years younger than the former Flyer, Darren Van Impe played 411 games in the NHL in the 1990s to 2000s. As fellow no-frills defensive defensemen with a physical edge, their playing styles were fairly similar.