At 38, Henrik Lundquist is poised to open a new chapter in his career with Washington Capitals. Long recognized as the strongest image of the New York Rangers, “King Henrik” gave the final lap with Alex Ovechkin’s team in hopes of winning the Stanley Cup for the first time.
Lundquist did not finally put his suitcases in the American capital. Sweden announced on Thursday that it was suspending its career without saying much about the discomfort due to a heart problem.
“It breaks me [littéralement] Heart to share this news, he wrote on Twitter. I will not be joining the capitals this season. After several weeks of testing and many discussions with experts across the country, I realized that a heart problem could prevent me from jumping on the ice. Before we tackle this issue we understand that the risk of playing this year is too great. I will spend the next few months figuring out what is best for me.
“For two months now, I’ve been preparing for the idea of playing in Washington. I focused on my game to spend my days for the snow. This news is hard to digest. But after the final test results this week, we realized that this was the only solution. Thanks to the Capitals organization for their encouragement over the past few days. “
Byron in shock
Lundquist teammate Martin Byron struggled with the sad news with the Rangers from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014.
“I had a cold when I read Henrik’s tweet,” Byron explained in a telephone interview. Journal. When you talk about heart problems, it can always be a little scary. Dad underwent three heart bypass operations at the age of 39. Hank 38 years. Understanding how the heart works is sometimes difficult, even very dangerous.
“In a way, I’m glad the doctors found this problem before it was too late. I’m sad Hank. He said it was heartbreaking and even declared it by choosing the right words. It really is. “
In the “Blue Shirts” locker room, Lundquist often waited for Byron to remove the tape from his skates before answering questions from journalists.
Of all the NHL players, Lundquist was friendly and generous with the press. Victory or defeat, he always found himself in front of his locker to answer questions.
Byron described him as a great companion.
“I did not know Henrik personally before coming to New York in 2010-2011. I have pictures of him. It was a handsome man who looked a little arrogant with his nickname King Henrik. I thought he was a bit of a jet set. I have already met stars like Patrick Roy and Martin Brodyur, I wondered who the Lundquist was. When I finally met him, he immediately destroyed my bad impressions. He is the complete opposite.
“Henrik was a very generous man,” he continued. He cared for his colleagues, he was involved in the community in New York City and he gave a lot to charity. Not only is he a good looking man, he is also a competitor at heart. He often got angry in practice or between match periods. But he’s doing it the right way, he’s looking to wake the team up. It always came from the heart when he was insane and the boys respected it. “
He recorded 459 wins after 15 seasons in Manhattan, ending Sept. 30 with the Lundquist Rangers. General manager Jeff Gorton chose to buy the final year of his contract to pave the way for the company’s two young goalkeepers, Igor Chesterkin and Alexander Georgiev.
On October 9, Lundquist signed a one-year, $ 1.5 million deal with the capitals. He was the older brother of Ilia Samsonov, one of the best young marbles in the NHL.
“When he broke up with the Rangers, I said I would be surprised if he came back to the NHL,” Byron said. He is the image of the Rangers. I ined it with “blue shirts”. But eventually he got used to the idea of continuing his career with Caps. I saw that he was playing the role of mentor for Ilya Samsonov. He shared his expertise with Samsonov. I can’t wait to see him in Washington. And he probably played almost 10 games against the Rangers. We talked about great enmity. ”