What has been rumored for the past couple weeks became reality on Wednesday when the New York Rangers announced they will buyout the remaining year of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s contract.
Lundqvist took to his social media accounts Wednesday morning to thank New York.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you! ❤️🤍💙
— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) September 30, 2020
Representing this organization has been the biggest source of pride and joy in my life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, for the friendships and for all the great memories created wearing the red, white and blue.
I will always cherish my time as a Ranger.
— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) September 30, 2020
THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!
15 years ago, I played my first game for @NYRangers I came here with high hopes and big dreams but in my wildest imagination, I could never have pictured the amazing ride that lay ahead.. pic.twitter.com/uo0HJMZnCj
— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) September 30, 2020
The Rangers made it official with a media release Wednesday morning.
NEW YORK, September 30, 2020 – The New York Rangers announced today that the team has bought out the final year of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s contract.
“Few players have been as important to the Rangers franchise as Henrik Lundqvist, and we are incredibly grateful for all he has done for our organization,” said James L. Dolan, Executive Chairman, MSG Sports. “Over his 15-year tenure, he not only established himself as one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game, he has also been one of hockey’s fiercest competitors and most effective ambassadors. He will always be a part of the Rangers family.”
“We would like to thank Henrik for his immeasurable contributions to the New York Rangers,” Rangers President and Alternate Governor John Davidson said. “From the time I met Henrik when he first came to New York in 2005, he has been the consummate professional. His tireless work ethic, passion for the game, and love of the Rangers and New York City enabled him to become one of the greatest goaltenders in hockey and one of the best players in the history of our franchise. We all wish Henrik and his family the best going forward.”
A Fierce Competitor
Lundqvist appeared in 887 career games with the Rangers over 15 seasons (2005-06 – 2019-20), posting a 459-310-96record, along with a 2.43 GAA, a .918 SV%, and 64 shutouts. He leaves the Blueshirts holding over 50 franchise records, including all-time records for wins, appearances by a goaltender, shutouts, save percentage (min. 75 appearances), playoff appearances (by either a skater or goaltender – 130), playoff wins (61), playoff shutouts (10), and playoff save percentage (min. 10 appearances – .921). Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s Best Goaltender in 2011-12, and was a finalist for the award in four other seasons throughout his tenure with the Rangers (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2012-13). A five-time NHL All-Star (2009, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019), Lundqvist was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team in 2011-12, the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2012-13, and the NHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2005-06.
Upon Lundqvist’s arrival to the NHL, the Rangers made the playoffs 11 times in a 12-season span from 2005-06 through 2016-17. The Rangers were not eliminated from playoff contention entering a game in 880 of Lundqvist’s 887 career regular season appearances with the team, including each of his first 801 career regular season appearances.
Lundqvist ranks 6th on the NHL’s all-time wins list, 8th on the NHL’s all-time appearances list, and 16th on the league’s all-time shutouts list. Lundqvist’s 459 career wins and 887 career appearances with the Rangers are the second-most a goaltender has recorded with one franchise in NHL history (trailing only Martin Brodeur with New Jersey). Lundqvist has earned more career NHL wins than any other non-North American born goaltender, and he also reached the 400-win plateau faster than any other goaltender in league history (727 appearances). He earned 30 or more wins in 11 different seasons in his NHL career, and is one of only three goaltenders in league history who posted 11 or more 30-win seasons (along with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy). Lundqvist is also the only NHL goaltender who earned 30 or more wins in each of his first seven seasons, as well as the only NHL goaltender who earned 30 or more wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons. He earned 20 or more wins in each of his first 13 NHL seasons, becoming the first goaltender in NHL history to earn 20 or more wins in 13 consecutive seasons to begin a career, as well as the first goaltender in league history to register 13 consecutive 20-win seasons at any point in a career. Since the NHL began to track save percentage in 1955-56, Lundqvist is one of only three goaltenders to have eight seasons with a .920 SV% or better (along with Dominik Hasek and Roberto Luongo), as well as the only goaltender to have seven consecutive seasons with a .920 SV% or better. In addition, he is the only goaltender in league history who has posted a 2.50 GAA or better in each of his first 11 NHL seasons. During his tenure, Lundqvist appeared in 462 games which the Rangers won (he earned the win in 459 of those games, along with three no-decisions). The only players who have appeared in more games which the Rangers have won in franchise history are Brian Leetch (515), Rod Gilbert (487), and Marc Staal (471).
During Lundqvist’s time with the Rangers, the team advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14, advanced to the Eastern Conference Final three times in a four-year span (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15), and won 11 different playoff series. Lundqvist started/appeared in 130 of the 132 postseason games the Rangers played over this period, including 129 consecutive postseason games from Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against New Jersey in 2006 to Game 2 of the Qualifying Round against Carolina in 2020. Lundqvist’s 129 consecutive postseason starts were the third-most by a goaltender in NHL history (trailing only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy). Lundqvist posted a 6-2 record, along with a 1.11 GAA, a .961 SV% (224 saves on 233 shots), and one shutout in eight career appearances in Game 7 of a playoff series, allowing two goals or fewer in all eight appearances. Lundqvist’s six Game 7 wins are tied for the most in NHL history (along with Brodeur and Roy), and he is the only goaltender in NHL history to win six consecutive Game 7s. From the start of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs through Game 6 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay, Lundqvist posted a 15-3 record, along with a 1.47 GAA, a .954 SV%, and two shutouts in 18 playoff games where the Rangers faced elimination, including a 6-0 record, along with a 0.81 GAA, a .973 SV%, and one shutout in the six Game 7s he played over the span. In addition, he helped the Rangers win 10 consecutive playoff games when facing elimination at home between 2008 and 2015 (an NHL record), and he posted a 0.96 GAA, a .968 SV%, and two shutouts in those 10 contests.
Lundqvist earned numerous team awards during his 15 seasons with the Rangers. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in nine different seasons, including seven consecutive seasons from 2006-07 – 2012-13; his nine Rangers MVP awards and seven consecutive Rangers MVP Awards are both the most in franchise history. Lundqvist was twice named the winner of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award (2005-06 and 2017-18), which is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” Lundqvist also received the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award as the Rangers’ Best Rookie in Training Camp (2005), the John Halligan Good Guy Award for cooperation with the media (2007-08), the Rangers Fan Club Frank Boucher Trophy as the team’s Most Popular Player on and off the ice (2006-07 and 2009-10), the Rangers Fan Club Rookie of the Year (2005-06), and the Rangers Fan Club Ceil Saidel Memorial Award for dedication to the organization on and off the ice (2005-06 and 2008-09) during his tenure with the Rangers. Lundqvist was also named a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in both 2018-19 and 2019-20; the King Clancy Memorial Trophy is awarded annually “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
The Are, Sweden native was originally selected by the Rangers in the seventh round, 205th overall, of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
A True Ambassador
Over his 15 seasons with the Rangers, Lundqvist not only established himself as one of the greatest players in franchise history, but also as an exceptional ambassador in the New York Metropolitan Area off the ice. In April of 2014, Henrik and his wife, Therese, founded the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF). Through its fundraising efforts and community outreach, HLF strives to create positive change in the lives of children and adults throughout the world through education and health services. Since its inception, HLF has directed more than $3.2 million to charitable partners in New York City, Sweden and the Dominican Republic, as well as its own program, the HLF Young Ambassador Program. In addition, HLF has directly given grants and made commitments of over $1.5 million supporting children’s health and education.
Through the HLF Young Ambassadors Program, which was created in 2015, Henrik has helped inspire young people to make a difference in the world. The Program is open to young women and men ages 12-18 who reside in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, and over a nine-month period, requires Young Ambassadors to complete 15 hours of community service, organize one independent service project in support of HLF’s mission, team up with HLF on a service project, and make a presentation to his/her class, team or other community group about HLF’s mission and his/her work as an HLFYA.
Lundqvist became the official spokesperson for the Garden of Dreams Foundation (GDF) in January of 2009. In 2012, he received the Garden of Dreams Hero Award, which annually honors a person or organization who embodies the spirit and commitment of the Foundation, with active, on-going dedication to children facing obstacles. Over his final six seasons with the Rangers, Lundqvist hosted approximately 1,450 children from various Garden of Dreams partner organizations and their families in “Henrik’s Crease” for a Rangers game experience at MSG, courtesy of donations from HLF. Lundqvist’s support and active involvement helped the Garden of Dreams Foundation raise $650,000 during the 2019-20 season, including over $330,000 during the Rangers’ annual Casino Night.