Henrik Lundqvist recalls courting Mats Sundin for the New York Rangers

henrik lundqvist mats sundin
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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During the New York Rangers pregame show before facing the Anaheim Ducks, Henrik Lundqvist answered questions from fans. One was regarding a trade or a signing that he wanted to have happen that didn’t come to fruition.

“I remember one year Mats Sundin was making a move from Toronto, so the Rangers told me, ‘Mats is coming to town– make sure he has a good time and hopefully he’s going to sign in New York’,” Lundqvist recalled.

“I took him out and we had the BEST time!”

“It was a good time. Great night in New York City after a big game,” Hank said. “I was so sure he was going to sign in New York and then a few weeks later we’re out in L.A. and I get a notification on my phone that he signed with Vancouver. I was shocked!”

“I grew up watching him in Sweden. It would’ve been very cool to have him in New York.”

Rangers wanted Mats Sundin in 2008

Mats Sundin Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs center Mats Sundin (13) taps in a loose puck behind New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and defenseman Michal Rozsival (3) for a goal in the first period of their NHL game in New York December 6, 2007. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

What Henrik was recollecting actually took place during the 2008-2009 season.

Mats Sundin was an unrestricted free agent after spending 13 years with the Maple Leafs. At 37 years of age, he was looking for a new team and was considering the New York Rangers.

Before he signed with the Canucks, Lundqvist actually told the media after an optional skate about courting Sundin.

“I saw (Sundin) a couple times during the summer, and he told me back then he didn’t know if he was going to play or not,” Lundqvist said Tuesday following an optional skate in Greenburgh. “But I definitely made him make sure he knows what it’s all about to play here. Good sights, good travel, great city, great organization. He knows all that.”

“He would add a lot, in a lot of ways, not only scoring. He’s a top player,” Lundqvist said. “He’s a great leader and great player and person, so if he chooses to play more hockey, it would be fun if he chooses New York. But we just have to wait and see.”

NY Daily News

Sundin finished with 9 goals and 28 points in 41 games for the Canucks that season before retiring.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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