In an interview with a Swedish newspaper this weekend, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist showed the competitive fire Blueshirts fans have come to expect from him.
No one has ever questioned New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist‘s desire to compete. Now at 38-years old, he doesn’t compete at the same level he did in his prime. King Henrik said in an interview with a Swedish newspaper that rumors about his demise are greatly exaggerated.
Sunday, the Göteborgs-Posten, published an interview veteran hockey writer Johan Rylander conducted with Lundqvist. Rylander provided a translation for Forever Blueshirts. The star goalie made his opinions known on several subjects.
This season the New York Rangers signed top-prospect Russian goalie Igor Shesterkin. After a few months with the AHL Hartford Wolfpack, the Rangers brought up to the big club. His promotion gave the Rangers three NHL goalies, including Alexandar Georgiev. That’s one too many; there are only two nets in practice.
The King was straight forward when asked if he was surprised to find himself as the Blueshirts third-string goalie.
"“What am I supposed to say about that? I had a picture of how the season would develop, what I had in mind,” Lundqvist said. “When things turned out the way they did, I was surprised. But at the same time, part of me understands the situation. I’m not blind. They’re thinking ahead. There are many pieces that go into building a team right now, but also for the future.”"
Lundqvist talked about the disappointment he faced as he found himself behind Shesterkin and Georgiev on the Rangers depth chart. In true King fashion, he said he’s ready to compete for his job. “I have to fight – if I want to go back and have that place in the net.”
The COVID-19 shortened regular season and proposed fan-less playoff games will put a dent in the league’s revenue. As a result, the salary cap will at best be flat and is likely to go down next season or the one after.
To make room for pre-planned escalating contracts, the NHL and NHLPA may allow buyouts with no penalty. Lundqvist makes $8.5M per season. He is keenly aware that his salary makes him a prime candidate to have his contract bought out by the Rangers.
"“It’s not in my mind right now. The focus is training and this summer. Now we go for it right here. I can sense that I have it in me – to go another few years over there in the NHL. I’m sure about it!”More from New York RangersNew York Rangers Buy-Out Henrik Lundqvist’s ContractNew York Rangers: Forget Alexis Lafreniere for now, just winNew York Rangers will have to wait a year for Nils Lundkvist, that’s okayNew York Rangers: Former Blueshirts defenseman Kevin Lowe elected to HOFNew York Rangers: All to gain and nothing to lose against Canes"
Of course, some think at his age; it’s time to retire. Lundqvist isn’t thinking about that just yet, but he knows the end is coming.
"“It’s clear that I’m thinking about how much I love hockey and how long I think I can continue, or even want to continue. I also realized that I can’t look that far ahead.”"
The key takeaway from this interview is that Lundqvist believes he has plenty left in the tank. He wants to play hockey and do it with the New York Rangers.
Do you think Henrik Lundqvist will be able to win the starting job for the New York Rangers play in series with Carolina? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.