NHL Rumors: Henrik Lundqvist came close to return; and Jake DeBrusk trade buzz

The biggest news yesterday was the retirement of Henrik Lundqvist after numerous attempts to come back from open heart surgery. At 39 years of age and still battling inflammation, Lundqvist could not wait another year to hope he could play again.

Henrik opted to not have a mechanical valve which would have hindered his chances of coming back and put him on blood-thinning medication in January. Instead he opted to replace the valve with one made of cow tissue, which will lead to another surgery.

“I have to change it in the future,” he told Swedish outlet GP. As to what the procedure would entail is not fully known at this time. “We’ll see how extensive it will be. There’s progress, so we will see if the chest needs to be reopened or not.”

What was also learned was just how close Hank almost came to playing again last season.

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NHL Rumors: Lundqvist almost came back to play for the Capitals

Lundqvist also revealed he was close to returning to the Capitals. “It was three days before I was going back to Washington that I found out that I had pericarditis,” he said. “I was very close to coming back – it was very tough to go through that again, but this was a completely different thing – because it had nothing to do with the operation.”

“I got some kind of infection that attacked and sat around the heart in some way. It was quite painful,” Lundqvist explained about the condition. “I was completely overwhelmed for five days, lying with chest pains and feeling sick. I’ve had a couple of setbacks this spring – and this was a reminder. I didn’t want to end up there again. I have to listen to the body and land on this decision (to retire).”

It was widely reported that Hank wanted to play again. Bob McKenzie even mentioned that he was not cleared for free agency this past July. He made one more attempt earlier this month and the chest discomfort started again. That’s when he knew it as time to retire.

Oilers still interested in Jake DeBrusk

jake DeBrusk rumors
Mar 3, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) and Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) battle for a loose puck during overtime at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk was rumored to be on the block for a majority of last season but no deal ever came to fruition. One team that was interested were the Oilers and according to Fluto Shinzawa, they may still be looking at the 24 year-old.

I have heard Edmonton remains interested in DeBrusk. Calgary to a lesser degree. Combine that with the cluster of left-shot forwards and the shortness of cap space, and trading DeBrusk remains a possibility. A No. 2 center would be the ideal return. But they are not in a great spot to trade picks. It would have to be someone of DeBrusk’s profile: an underperforming player with potential to play better elsewhere.

The Athletic

It isn’t surprising that the Oilers would still like to acquire Jake. His dad Louie played for them and still has connections with Edmonton.