After 15 seasons with the New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist’s position on the club has suddenly changed radically. Two young Russians – Alexandar Georgiev, 24, and Igor Sjestjorkin, 24 – have stepped in and taken over, and Lundqvist has now been transformed into not only second – but third string.
In an interview with Swedish media outlet SVT, Lundqvist spoke about how the 2019-2020 season has gone for him. “What I went through last winter was pretty tough to be honest. I have had a certain role and a position on the team for almost 15 years and even during the years I have played in Sweden, things have changed quite a lot now. So of course I thought about it a lot, daily, almost every hour for months and it gets pretty hard mentally, I think,” said Lundqvist.
“Nothing lasts forever. Then you have a goal and a dream, but then you have to adapt to the surroundings and reality, he said on SVT’s program “Luuk & Hallberg”
Former New York Rangers player Mats Zuccarello has criticized the club’s treatment of Lundqvist. “It is absolutely hair-raising that he is treated that way,” he told VG . “It’s disrespectful. He is starting to get older yes, and they have another good goalkeeper, but they could have let him play the matches Sjestiorkin doesn’t play, the Norwegian tells VG.
Criticism has also come from Swedish star Mika Zibanejad, who still plays on the team. “It has certainly been a strange situation for everyone. I cannot speak for “Henke’s sake” but it is clear that it is a very strange situation that he has not experienced before with three goalkeepers. He has worked hard on the workouts and tried to be as positive as he can be in such a position, he told Aftonbladet.
The goalkeeper himself says that he has not yet decided on his future.
“I have tried to live in the present and focused on the family and gather my thoughts. Sometimes you become your own enemy over how much you think about things, says Lundqvist.”
Lundqvist, who has one more year remaining on his $8.5 million AAV deal, was 10-12-0-3 with a 3.16 GAA and a .905 save percentage in 26 starts and 30 games played in the 2019-2020 season.
You can read the entire interview here.