Today is a day that many hoped would never come. After 15 seasons with the New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist has officially retired from the National Hockey League, ending his Hall of Fame-worthy career.
The man affectionately called “King Henrik” or “Hank”, announced his retirement from Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden. Post-press conference, the King took to Twitter:
pic.twitter.com/dKKdNxHc8U — Henrik Lundqvist (@hlundqvist35) August 20, 2021
After the Rangers bought out last year of his contract in September of 2020, Lundqvist signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals. However, Hank was forced to sit out all of last season due to a serious heart condition that would ultimately require open-heart surgery.
Lundqvist took to the ice sooner than expect and made it known via social media that he was looking to make a return to the NHL. Just 10 days ago he posted the following:
Not sure how many times I’ve been sitting here, tying and untying the pads over the years, 15.000? I’m just guessing.. Back at it, we’ll see what happens 🙂 pic.twitter.com/9uGubSKYnl — Henrik Lundqvist (@hlundqvist35) August 10, 2021
But it seems setbacks negated a possible return. This brings us to now. At the end of the day, the 39-year-old Lundqvist and his family have decided to live life away from the rink (for now). They’ll instead return to their home in New York and live as “regular New Yorkers.”
I’m betting Chris Drury and Rangers will be calling with a job offer any minute now.
Lundqvist finishes his illustrious career sixth all-time in NHL wins with 459, two All-Star appearances, a Vezina Trophy, an Olympic gold medal, and respect from anyone who has ever watched or interacted with him. His dedication and loyalty to the Rangers organization and the city of New York will forever be the gold standard for an NHL career.
Be sure to check out the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation and to follow me on Twitter @dcblanda for more up-to-the-minute NHL coverage.
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Featured Image via Jim McIsaac