Henrik Lundqvist’s NHL profession is being renowned by fellow goalies for added than wins, losses and shutouts.
Mike Richter has had a privileged peep of a fellow New York Rangers legend. On the opposite hand it be one thing rather then the statistics of Lundqvist, who on Friday launched his retirement from the NHL following 15 seasons with the Rangers, that nearly all stands out to Richter.
“Hank’s compete degree used to be during the roof,” talked about Richter, who played his complete 14-season NHL profession with the Rangers from 1989-2003, a success the Stanley Cup in 1994. “He came ready as professionally as that you just will be ready to imagine — year in, year out, recreation in, recreation out — and that maximized his great skill.
“He read the play extremely neatly, to seem and catch in front of photos. He used to be regularly an unlimited competitor and that just exact manner that over time he is going to shut up take care of a [Martin] Brodeur (the NHL wins leader with 691). You are going to rack up wins and annoying milestones ought to you also can beget his degree of expertise married with consistency and a in level of fact dedicated manner to the game.”
Lundqvist had the closing season of his contract bought out by the Rangers on Sept. 30, 2020, and signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Washington Capitals nine days later. He did no longer play closing season due to a heart yelp and had valve replacement surgical treatment in January.
He began gentle workout routines in July in hopes of taking part in this season, nonetheless after having some health points in these workout routines made up our minds to retire.
Lundqvist, who played all 887 of his traditional-season and all 130 of his playoff video games for the Rangers, ranks sixth in NHL ancient previous in victories (459), seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in video games played (887), ninth in begins (871), ninth in time on ice (51,816: 51) and 17th in shutouts (64). He played his complete NHL profession with the shootout and with out tie video games.
The 39-year-pale from Are, Sweden, used to be 459-310-96 with a 2.43 targets-against sensible and .918 assign proportion. The 2011-12 Vezina Trophy winner voted because the correct goalie in the NHL, Lundqvist used to be 61-67 with a 2.30 GAA, .921 assign proportion and 10 shutouts in the playoffs.
The Rangers launched that Lundqvist’s No. 30 could be retired at Madison Square Garden this season. He’s going to be their 11th player and third goalie so honored; Ed Giacomin’s No. 1 used to be retired on March 15, 1989, and Richter’s No. 35 used to be raised to the rafters on Feb. 4, 2004.
“I beget an unlimited deal of admire for Hank’s accomplishments nonetheless even elevated admire for his manner to the game, for why he used to be so upright,” Richter talked about. “The man labored no longer easy and used to be hooked in to his craft. It confirmed each night. He exploded onto the scene in New York (in 2005-06), adjusting to the North American selection of hockey higher and additional rapid than somebody anticipated. The teaching employees and scouts had different faith in this guy or they don’t desire introduced him over from Sweden.
“But as spectacular as he used to be from the birth, his hallmark has been his consistency. Talk about any huge player, in particular a goaltender, and it be the consistency and the flexibility to play at a excessive degree each night. The expectations were excessive in New York, which could per chance were the case no topic the put Hank played.
“But I will dispute that there is a just exact degree of intensity in New York. … Some can work inside that truth and a few can’t, nonetheless Hank used to be with out a doubt one who desired to be on that mammoth stage and he in level of fact thrived on it. It takes a special particular person to take out it.”
Gerry Cheevers, the Boston Bruins legend of the 1970s, understands the pressures of a passionate hockey market, the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup winner announcing that Lundqvist shone in the fresh highlight of New York.
“Henrik with out a doubt introduced steadiness to the Rangers,” Cheevers talked about. “No topic how upright or wicked they were, he used to be regularly there. With him, they were basically going to be upright. I beloved the manner Henrik played, he regarded to be very a lot accountable. To me, he used to be a in level of fact unswerving goalie and he made the Rangers a competitive crew.”
Philadelphia Flyers icon Bernie Parent, who won the Stanley Cup with Philadelphia in 1974 and 1975, when he additionally used to be voted the Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, lauded Lundqvist for what he dropped at the Rangers each on and off the ice.
“The Rangers and New York needed to be very proud and grateful to beget had him,” Parent talked about. “The leadership he introduced used to be wonderful. That is the put you see the variation in huge goalies take care of him. The roughly leadership he brings is great. It’s all about confidence at that degree of sports activities. While you also can beget it, you form neatly. That’s what this guy equipped.”
ESPN hockey analyst Kevin Weekes used to be a teammate of Lundqvist for the vital two seasons of the latter’s NHL profession.
“Right from Day One, it used to be such an elite degree of greatness and closing excessive performance and consistency your complete method through,” Weekes talked about of Lundqvist. “I noticed him in training camp and I used to be take care of ‘Holy, this guy is freaking loopy.’ I be aware listening to about him from pals of mine that played in Sweden throughout that ’04 (NHL) work stoppage.
“(Goalie) Jose Theodore used to be over there in Sweden too, and Jose a pair years prior used to be League MVP (in 2001-02). Jose had an very just exact profession and he and I return a actually long time. And avid gamers were telling me, ‘This guy is even the subsequent degree, this Lundqvist guy.’ I noticed it in training camp beautiful away, so I wasn’t very a lot surprised. He took the League by storm. He took the Garden by storm. He took our enlighten by storm.
“One amongst the correct issues about [Lundqvist] is the proven truth that all people regularly seems to be at the hair and the goatee and the fits and the vehicles. Was once that a phase of the equipment? Inch. Is that a phase of the manner he presents himself? Of route. However the motive force used to be about blood, sweat, tears, braveness, discover, compete. As he tells me your complete time, he loves competing. And never any complacency, both. That power and that quest used to be regularly there for him and it never wavered.”
Martin Biron, now a Buffalo Sabres studio analyst, played his closing four NHL seasons as Lundqvist’s teammate from 2010-14.
“Hank used to be supreme for New York and New York used to be supreme for him,” Biron talked about. “I will’t beget any player who used to be extra supreme for a crew and better embodied that crew than he did.
“People study Hank and to boot they are saying, ‘He’s upright-having a gaze, he dresses so neatly, he performs guitar in a band, he is obtained the correct household, he is a in level of fact upright goaltender.’ But they additionally also can serene know that he labored tougher than somebody else I’ve ever played with.
“The time that Hank spent on the ice and off the ice used to be wonderful — doing video, redesigning his instruments to be obvious he used to be regularly transferring forward with that and alongside with his technique. He used to be a competitor and a leader and all of that, nonetheless what I noticed unhurried the scenes, how no longer easy he labored, that does no longer come straightforward. Inch, he had expertise, nonetheless he regularly labored extraordinarily no longer easy at each aspect of the game, the bodily, mental and technical. He used to be regularly the correct in any admire of it.”
It seems moderately likely that Lundqvist is headed for induction in the Hockey Corridor of Reputation for his physique of labor in the NHL and for Sweden, having acquire a gold medal at the 2006 Olympics and won the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
“I would dispute he goes in on the vital ballot,” Biron talked about of Lundqvist, who could be eligible in 2024. “I know Hank’s numbers and his longevity are beautiful there. The arena success he had with Sweden surely must be phase of it.”
Richter talked about that Lundqvist’s manner, physique of labor and excessive degree of professionalism “also can serene be identified, acknowledged and rewarded. Hank won the Vezina Trophy, nonetheless he used to be regularly extra about a success as a crew than any particular particular person accomplishment.”
NHL.com employees writer Tom Gulitti contributed to this report
Photos: Hockey Corridor of Reputation; Getty Photography (Lundqvist and Biron; Lundqvist, Richter and Giacomin; Weekes)