Simply greater than every week after the Rangers purchased out the closing yr of his contract, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist signed with the rival Washington Capitals on Friday, the primary day of N.H.L. unfastened company. Lundqvist, 38, had performed his complete 15-year profession with the Rangers, environment just about each and every franchise goaltending document together with 459 wins and 64 shutouts in 887 video games.
Lundqvist signed a one-year, $1.five million contract with the Capitals, whom he defeated within the playoffs 3 times, together with a seven-game sequence in 2015. He’s going to grow to be teammates with Alex Ovechkin, who has scored 706 targets over his 15 seasons with the Capitals. Each avid gamers have been freshmen — along side Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby — within the 2005-6 season after the former season was once canceled as a result of a exertions dispute.
“At this point in my career, I want to have a chance to win,’’ Lundqvist said during a Zoom news conference. “I have to say the Capitals checked every box; a team that understands winning, a great coaching staff and an opportunity to play some games. Those were the main factors for me.”
Lundqvist become an unrestricted unfastened agent after the Rangers determined to shop for out the general yr of his contract on Sept. 30. He’s going to percentage goaltending tasks in Washington with the 23-year-old Russian Ilya Samsonov, who received 16 video games as a rookie in 2019-20. Braden Holtby, who helped the Capitals win the Stanley Cup in 2018, left for the Vancouver Canucks by way of unfastened company.
“Henrik is one of the greatest goaltenders in N.H.L. history, and we are pleased to have him join our organization,” Capitals Normal Supervisor Brian MacLellan mentioned. “Henrik has the competitive drive and the ability to help our team compete for a championship. We feel he will be an excellent fit for our team and provide leadership to our organization and our young goaltenders.”
Lundqvist mentioned an abundance of thankfulness for the Rangers helped him throughout the procedure of claiming good-bye to the group, which he resulted in the Stanley Cup finals in 2014.
“I reached a level of so much gratitude towards the Rangers and honestly I feel like gratitude is the best feeling you can have ever,” he mentioned. “It was a long way getting to last Wednesday, for me to work on that. It was a very emotional day for me and my wife but it was a beautiful day. I could feel the love and support coming in from all over the place.”
Lundqvist supplied a lot more than glove saves and acrobatic stops all over a tenure with the Rangers the place his philanthropic efforts have been a lot of and notable. Despite the fact that soft-spoken off the ice and comfortable speaking about track, his favourite vehicles or type traits, Lundqvist was once a whirlwind of depth at the ice.
He performed 5 seasons for the Frölunda Hockey Membership in Sweden ahead of becoming a member of the Rangers, who had selected him within the 7th spherical of the 2000 draft after 21 different goaltenders have been decided on. Lundqvist arrived in New York at age 23 and temporarily become the starter, resulting in one in every of his 11 seasons of 30 or extra victories.
Lundqvist may nonetheless succeed in 500 profession wins and 3rd position at the profession listing. Simplest 12 different goalies within the N.H.L. have reached the 400-win threshold, an inventory led through Martin Brodeur (691).
Lundqvist mentioned he was once having a look ahead to being Ovechkin’s teammate as a substitute of going through his laser slap shot. Lundqvist may also have fellow Swedes Nicklas Backstrom and previous Ranger Carl Hagelin on his facet below new trainer Peter Laviolette. Amid the swirl of emotions and thoughts Lundqvist is sure to be feeling as he changes home cities, he said that hadn’t yet thought about the first game he would play at Madison Square Garden for the opposition.
“It’s more preparing for chapter two,” he said. “It’s been a long chapter one in New York that I will never forget.”