Friday night at Madison Square Garden will finally close the book on Henrik Lundqvist’s New York Ranger career. Henrik Lundqvist will be the 11th player in franchise history to have name and number hang from the hallowed roof of MSG. It’s an honor that so many fans knew would be coming soon after Lundqvist decided to retire.
Throughout his decade and a half backstopping the Rangers, Lundqvist’s greatness was often taken for granted by fans and the organization. Back in September of 2020 I detailed some of my favorite moments in Lundqvist’s career.
Outside of Rod Gilbert, nobody showed and embodied what it means to be a New York Ranger more than Henrik Lundqvist. You hear the term “the right way” get thrown around in the game of hockey but Lundqvist carried himself on and off the ice the exact right way.
I could go on for hours and not pour into enough detail about what Lundqvist’s time in New York meant to me personally. Growing up and idolizing the ‘94 team I never thought there’d ever be another Ranger that I would be as a big a fan of as I was with Messier and Leetch. Those guys to me were bigger than life and when the non-postseason times came to Broadway I truly never thought there could be a player to capture the city again like Messier did.
In walked this 7th round unknown goalie from Sweden and he absolutely took the city and my fandom by storm.
Hank – from your multiple game 7 heroics to squirting Crosby with your water bottle, I can’t say thank you enough for everything you gave to us fans for 15 years. Your legacy to me will never be defined by a team accomplishment, you’re a true hockey hall of famer and a hall of fame individual. I truly hope that Friday night you receive all the recognition and adulation that you’ve always deserved.
Thank you for becoming a son of New York and taking all of us on an absolute thrill ride. This city and fanbase appreciate you giving us your heart for these past 15 years.
Thank you, Henrik. You are forever the King!