The End of the Kings Reign

New York Rangers Set To Buyout Henrik Lundqvist

 Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Even though many Rangers fans felt this day would come there was still some, namely myself, hoping to never see this day actually come. It’s truly the end of an era for the New York Rangers.

For myself personally, Lundqvist took over the Blueshirts net when I was just 14 years and old and for nearly half my life he’s been the goaltender I’ve cheered on whenever the Rangers would take the ice. This really does hit personally for me being such a diehard Rangers fan. I never expected anything to be worse in my Ranger fandom than the day that Glen Sather shipped Brian Leetch off to Toronto. Sadly, I couldn’t be anymore wrong.

In terms of New York sports this is one of the worst exits of all-time. Patrick Ewing and Don Mattingly immediately come to mind as two of the sadder departures in New York sports history. Lundqvist probably tops both because as the Rangers are seeming to turn a corner and start to build a sustainable winner, they’re forced to now say goodbye to arguably the greatest player in franchise history. Lundqvist always seemed to carry subpar teams to levels way beyond they ever should have gone for a majority of his career. Until 2013-2014 Lundqvist never truly had a great supporting cast of players and the Rangers still found a way to waste one of the greatest goalies to ever play in the NHL.

So before the Rangers do something I never thought they would do, I’d like to share just some of my favorite Henrik Lundqvist Rangers memories:

-Henrik Lundqvist Diving Stick Save on Ryan Johansen: Being able to be in MSG for this game and seeing this save live, it’s still the top save in my life.

-Round 1 2017 against Montreal Canadiens. Lundqvist finished the round with a 1.47 GAA / .947 SV % and was as close to as unbeatable as you can be in the final 3 games of the series.

-Round 2 2017 against Ottawa Senators. Henrik diving around the crease making countless game changing saves under duress while the defense scrambled to no end.

-Squirting Sidney Crosby with his water bottle while skating by in the 2014 playoffs.

-2005 against the Washington Capitals. We all remember Marek Malik’s EA NHL style goal, but Hank lasted throughout 15 shutout rounds.

-2012 Winter Classic penalty shot against Daniel Briere to seal the victory.

-2013 playoffs against the Capitals. Back to back shutouts after being down in the series 3 games to 2 to eventually take the series.

-2014 the last 5 minutes of game 7 against the Penguins. Lundqvist stood on his head making save after save including a furious flurry at the end without this stick.

-Robbing David Krejci’s one-timer in 2013 season opener by diving across the crease.

-In 2014, Lundqvist shuts out Montreal in game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals to send the Rangers to the Final for the first time since 1994.

-In 2017 Lundqvist becomes the first European born goalie to win 400 games as well as the quickest NHL goalie to reach 400.

-2011 he robs Alex Ovechkin on a breakaway in OT to keep the hopes alive albeit they would end up losing.

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