Preparing for Life Without Henrik Lundqvist
The past few years have been tough for some of my sports idols from growing up. David Wright has a degenerative back disease and had to retire because of it. Eli Manning fell off a cliff and to put it bluntly, was a terrible quarterback for the last few years of his career. Wright was tougher to watch because his body betrayed him rather than his skill at baseball. Watching these two retire was very difficult. Manning brought the only championships of my favorite teams while Wright was there from the very beginning of my baseball fandom. Despite how tough these two were to go through, it will not come close to when Henrik Lundqvist retires. I have started preparing for life without Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist was drafted in the 7th round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. Ironically, his twin brother Joel was selected in the 3rd round by the Dallas Stars and never amounted to much in the NHL. Lundqvist has played every single game of his NHL career with the Rangers. All 887 games and 459 wins have been with the Blueshirts. Those 459 wins are the most in franchise history right in front of Mike Richter.
He made his debut in 2005 and finished his rookie campaign with 30 wins and as a finalist for the Vezina trophy. He was a finalist the first 3 years of his career and 6 of the first 10. Lundqvist finally won the award for his performance during the 2011-2012 season. Also, he is a decorated Olympian for Sweden. He won the Gold Medal in the 2006 games and Silver in the 2014 games.
Henrik Lundqvist will end his career as the best Rangers goalie of all-time and one of the greatest goalies in NHL history. The only thing lacking from his resume is a Stanley Cup. I recognize that is a glaring hole on his record but not every player can win. In my opinion, Lundqvist and Joe Thornton are the two most deserving players in any sport of a championship. When it is all said and done, Lundqvist will be a Hall of Famer and will have his number right next to Richter’s in the Garden rafters.
With the NHL season in jeopardy and the stellar play of Alex Georgiev and Igor Sheshtorkin, Lundqvist’s role with the Rangers is fading. The 38 year old goalie has had a legendary career and it is almost time for him to hang up the skates. It is going to be a really rough day when he leaves the Garden ice for the final time. Just like David Wright and Eli Manning, Lundqvist has been thee for me since the start. It is going to feel like getting punched in the stomach when the time comes. I am not ready for this day. However, I need to prepare for life without Henrik Lundqvist.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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