Decorated goaltender Henrik Lundqvist announced his retirement from the NHL at a press conference in Sweden. He also released a statement via social media to detail his decision.
“It’s time,” Lundqvist posted on his Twitter account. “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, who sat out last season, underwent open-heart surgery in January and returned to the ice less than two months later.
Henrik Lundqvist retires
The 39-year-old Swede finishes his NHL career with a record of 459-310-96 and 64 shutouts, a 2.43 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 15 seasons with the New York Rangers. He guided the Rangers to an appearance in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.
Lundqvist ranks sixth in NHL history in wins, seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games played (887) and 17th in shutouts.
The 2012 Vezina Trophy recipient signed a one-year contract worth $1.5 million with the Washington Capitals on Oct. 9.
Lundqvist and the Rangers parted ways after 15 years on Sept. 30 when the team bought out the final season of his seven-year, $59.5 million contract.
The Rangers selected Lundqvist in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL Draft, and he took over in goal for the team in the 2005-06 season.
“Thank you @nyrangers and New York City,” Lundqvist wrote Friday on Twitter. “I’m a born Swede but I’ll always feel like a New Yorker thanks to you. 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!”
Internationally, Lundqvist helped Sweden win the gold medal at the 2006 Torino Olympics and a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Games.
New York Rangers to retire Lundqvist’s jersey
After Henrik Lundqvist announced his retirement, the New York Rangers released a statement announcing they will retire Lundqvist’s iconic #30 to the Madison Square Garden rafters at a to be determined game this season.
“It is with mixed emotions that The New York Rangers offer our best wishes and heartfelt gratitude to Henrik Lundqvist on the announcement of his retirement,” the team said in a statement. “Henrik’s commitment to excellence made him one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game of hockey, and we are so fortunate to have witnessed his greatness firsthand for 15 years.
“As we congratulate Henrik on an extraordinary career and a lasting legacy of success, charity and character, we are honored to announce that we will retire his number and raise his jersey to the rafters at an upcoming game this season. Henrik is, and always will be, a Ranger.”
Whenever the ceremony is held, it will be an emotional night for everyone in the building and fans at home.
–Field Level Media provided the majority of this article