Henrik Lundqvist has announced his retirement, ending a legendary 15-year NHL career; the Swedish great said: “For the last 30 years, I have devoted my life to the game of hockey… and now it’s time to walk away from the game I love and begin a new chapter”
Last Updated: 20/08/21 4:13pm
Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist has announced his retirement after a remarkable career during which he was one of the NHL’s greatest goaltenders and also helped lead Sweden to an Olympic gold medal.
The 39-year-old, who set a slew of records during a 15-season stint with the New York Rangers, had open-heart surgery in January that forced him to miss the entire 2020-21 NHL season.
Lundqvist holds more than 50 Rangers franchise records, including the all-time mark for wins, appearances by a ‘keeper, shutouts, playoff appearances and playoff wins.
Known as ‘The King’, he won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender for the 2011-12 season and was a finalist for the award in four other years.
Lundqvist, who helped Sweden claim the Olympic gold medal in 2006 and silver in 2014, has more career NHL wins (459) than any other non-North American born goalkeeper and reached the 400-win mark faster than any other in his position.
“It’s time,” Lundqvist wrote on Twitter. “For the last 30 years, I have devoted my life to the game of hockey… and now it’s time to walk away from the game I love and begin a new chapter.”
Lundqvist signed a one-year contract last October to play for the Washington Capitals but never suited up for the team due to a heart condition that required surgery.
“Thank you @rangers and New York City. I’m a born Swede but I’ll always feel like a New Yorker thanks to you,” Lundqvist wrote. “Thank you @NHL. This league was everything I dreamed of and more.
“Lastly, thank you to the game of hockey and its fans! You gave my life purpose and I have loved every single minute of it!”