Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, a Gold Medal winner at both the Olympics and World Championship, and the sixth winningest goaltender in NHL history after an illustrious 15-year career with the New York Rangers, today officially retired from hockey at age 39, after missing the 2020-21 NHL campaign after undergoing open heart surgery.
A product of the Frölunda junior system, Lundqvist debuted for the under-20 team in 1998, joining the senior team in 2001. Lundqvist would spend five seasons with Frölunda, winning the Swedish Eliteserien championship in 2003 and 2005, winning three straight Goalie Of The Year titles. Following the NHL lockout in 2004-05, Lundqvist joined the New York Rangers, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2000, where he would spend his entire 15 year NHL career, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2012, and setting an NHL record as the only player to start a career with seven straight 30-win seasons (2005-12). Lundqvist, who took the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and was a five-time NHL All-Star, ends his career sixth all time in wins (459), seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games (887) played and ninth in starts (871); he is also seventh in starts (130) and saves (3,567), tenth in games (130) and eleventh in shutouts (10) in playoff games. “The King Of New York” holds nearly every Ranger goaltending record for both regular season and playoffs. After leaving the Rangers in 2019-20, Lundqvist shockingly signed with the rival Washington Capitals, but during a preseason physical was identified to have a heart issue, requiring open heart surgery that prevented him from ever playing for any team but the Blueshirts.
Debuting with Sweden’s Under-17 national team, Lundqvist debuted with the Juniorkronorna at the 2001 World Junior Championships, returning again in 2002. He made his senior debut with the national team on the 2002-03 Euro Hockey Tour, making his World Championship debut that same season as Sweden’s #3 goalie, winning a Silver medal despite not playing. This was the first of six World Championship appearances (2003-05, 2008, 2017, 2019) for Lundqvist, which saw him win another Silver the following year, and a Gold medal in 2017. Lundqvist also started at three Olympics for Tre Kronor (2006, 2010, 2014), leading Sweden to just their second Olympic Gold ever at the 2006 Turin Games, along with a Silver at the 2014 Sochi Games. Lundqvist also competed at four Euro Hockey Tour tournaments, as well as both the 2004 and 2016 World Cup Of Hockey.
Lundqvist was a five-time IHLC champion over the course of his career, winning first at the 2004 World Championships, with two additional wins in 2005 and 2017, along with Olympic wins in 2006 and 2010. We wish Henrik and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!