It’s a sad day in hockey. Few are likely surprised by this morning’s news, but nevertheless, it hurts. After 15 seasons in the NHL, “The King” Henrik Lundqvist has announced his retirement at a press conference in Sweden today. In his statement released on social media, he didn’t specify why, but it’s safe to assume that it’s due to his heart condition that required open-heart surgery last year.
Henrik Lundqvist Had A Legendary Career
There is no denying that The King was one of the best goalies of his era, if not of all the time. The fact that he never won a Stanley Cup means nothing. In 887 career games, Henrik Lundqvist owns a 459-310-96 record to go along with his 2.43 goals-against average (GAA) and 0.918 save percentage (SV%). In addition to that, he appeared in 130 career playoff games, through which he had a 61-67-0 record and a 2.30 GAA and 0.921 SV%.
Lundqvist also added a Vezina Trophy to his already first-ballot Hall of Fame career in 2012. He was a finalist for the award four other times. Plus, he owns countless records for the Rangers, as well as a few in Sweden and an Olympic one, was a five-time All-Star, and was nominated for numerous other awards over the course of his career, all of which you can find here. Analytics back up the eye test in Lundqvist’s case at well, with those showing that only Carey Price was better in this era. Last but certainly not least, the Rangers unsurprisingly announced in a statement today that they will retire Lundqvist’s number at a game to be decided this season.
As good as he was on the ice, that will not be the only thing he’s remembered for. The King was renowned for his work in the community and beloved by everyone, regardless of what team you rooted for. He is somehow an even better person than he is a goalie. His presence will surely continue to be missed on and off the ice.
Farewell to the King
I’m not a Rangers fan by any means, but I will certainly miss watching The King play. It was a privilege to grow up watching one of the best play the game, even if it was against my team. But, while this is the end of his playing days, it feels incredibly unlikely that this is the end of Henrik Lundqvist’s hockey career. I am sure we will see him back with the Rangers someday, and likely someday relatively soon. I can easily see him being a player development or goalie coach, and he’d be amazing at it. If he doesn’t go back with the Rangers, he’d make an excellent broadcaster. So, I for one can’t wait to see what Lundqvist does next. But, in the meantime, congratulations on a legendary career, Henrik, and best of luck in whatever comes next!
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured image courtesy of The Hockey News.
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