Henrik Lundqvist given another jewel in his crown; one more remains

Henrik Lundqvist
Jan 28, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers former goalie Henrik Lundqvist speaks to the crowd during a ceremony to retire his number before a game against the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Henrik Lundqvist beamed with pride as his watery eyes were delighted by the sight of his #30 being raised to the Madison Square Garden rafters.

Another crowning achievement in a brilliant and compassionate career that earned him accolades over his 15 year NHL tenure. All of them with the New York Rangers.

“The pursuit of becoming the best was always part of my journey,” Lundqvist told the Garden Faithful. “When I look back at my 15 years here, what gives me the most satisfaction is not the wins or the personal recognition, but it is really the commitment. The commitment I felt for the New York Rangers and the commitment they showed me for so long.”

Henrik Lundqvist honored by New York Rangers

As chants of “HEN-RIK” rained down, Lundqvist came out tapping his heart and waving to the crowd holding back tears. He kissed his wife and children, shook hands with the heroes of 94, and hugged his family before the Rangers showered him with gifts and adulation.

It was as MSG’s John Giannone said, “a night fit for a king.”

For Lundqvist this was the way he wanted to say goodbye to the fans and organization that gave him so much. When he was bought out, all he could do was post a message on social media that read:

15 years ago, I played my first game for @nyrangers. I came here with high hopes and big dreams but in my wildest imagination, I could never have pictured the amazing ride that lay ahead.

Representing this organization has been the biggest source of pride and joy in my life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, for the friendships and for all the great memories created wearing the red, white and blue.

I will always cherish my time as a Ranger.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Now with the pomp and circumstance a King deserves, he spoke from his heart as he looked around the Garden.

“While I reflect on my time here in New York, everything I experienced, the people I met, and what the game has given me, I keep coming back to one feeling– gratitude,” he said. “I feel so grateful for everything this organization has given me, supporting me and my family.”

Long Live the King

Henrik Lundqvist Night
Henrik Lundqvist Night (MSG)

Henrik Lundqvist truly belongs forever in the Garden’s iconic ceiling. His Gold and Silver medals proved his international greatness. Lundqvist captured the 2012 Vezina Trophy but he truly deserved to win more.

Lundqvist will always be remembered for carrying the team on numerous occasions, in particular the 2014 Stanley Cup run that fell short. He is and always will be one of the best Blueshirts of all-time.

The 39 year-old goalie ended his NHL career with a record of 459-310-96, a .916 SV% and a GAA of 2.43 with 64 shutouts. Simply remarkable numbers.

The King leads the Rangers in the following categories for goalies:

  • Most game played 887
  • Most wins 459
  • Best GAA (min 325 starts) 2.43
  • Best SV% (min 100 starts) .918
  • Shutouts 64
  • Most points 27
  • Playoff games 130
  • Playoff wins 61
  • Most playoff shutouts 10

Yet one more thing is missing. The final jewel in his crown.

“All the greats play the Garden, but very few have played and dominated the way you have,” Kevin Weekes said before Lundqvist took the mic. “Next stop, the Hockey Hall of Fame.”

In 2023, Lundqvist will be eligible for the honor. He should no doubt be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player.

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