A fan favorite and the long-time NHL goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist has called it a career after 15 seasons in the NHL. The 39-year-old NHLer had some high points in his career as he was the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors most hockey players do not have the opportunity to get their name on. Henrik Lundqvist leaves behind a legacy of great New York Rangers goaltenders that the new generation of Rangers goalies will strive to be like. Fresh off signing his new extension, Igor Shesterkin, and his goaltending partner Alexandar Georgiev will be constantly reminded of who they are replacing because Lundqvist’s number 30 will be hanging from the Madison Square Garden Rafters at some point very soon.
After being the lesser-known Lundqvist brother at the 2000 NHL Draft, Henrik surpassed his brother Joel to become the best Lundqvist in the NHL. While Joel Lundqvist would be drafted in the third round to the Dallas Stars, Henrik would have to wait until the seventh round to hear his name announced at the 205th pick.
After being drafted Henrik would not play in the NHL for another five years as he didn’t his NHL debut until the 2005-2006 season. He would explode onto the scene playing in 53 games and winning 30 games for the Rangers. Posting a save percentage of .922 and a 2.24 goals-against average the unknown seventh-round pick from Sweden had suddenly put himself in the running for the Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy, Calder Trophy, All rookie team, and an NHL All-star. Unfortunately, he was never voted the winner of the Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy, or the Calder Trophy but it is impressive nevertheless to even be the conversation for these prestigious awards.
Lundqvist continued to impress as he played upwards of 60 games for the Rangers consistently posting a save percentage above .900 and a goals-against average below 2.50 and being in the top 10 for nomination in the Vezina Trophy race as the best goalie in the NHL. He finally won the Vezina trophy during the 2011-12 season after posting a save percentage of .930 and a goals-against-average of 1.97.
Lundqvist was a vital piece to the Rangers and the franchise’s face until the 2019-20 season when the team and Lundqvist decided to part ways. He decided to trade in his blue sweater for a red sweater as he signed with the Washington Capitals in 2020. He never actually played for the Capitals as he had a heart issue that required surgery and forced him to miss the entire 2021 season.
Final Thoughts On Henrik Lundqvist’s Retirement
Yet another legend of the game has reached the end of their career. Hank meant so much for all Rangers fans and the game of hockey as a whole. Finding success in both the NHL and the international circuit. He has not announced his retirement plans, but we know that he will be at Madison Garden at least one more time during the upcoming season to witness his jersey retirement. Hanging in the rafters among fellow Rangers legends will cement himself in the head and hearts of all Rangers fans for years to come.
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