“It breaks my heart (literally) to share this news: I will not be joining the Capitals this upcoming season. After many weeks of tests and conversations with specialists around the country, it’s been determined that a heart condition will prevent me from taking the ice. Together, we have decided that the risk of playing before remedying my condition is too high. So I will spend the coming months figuring out the best course of action,” wrote Lundqvist on his Instagram account.
Carl Hagelin, 32, was a teammate with Henrik Lundqvist for four seasons with the New York Rangers (2011-15) and looked forward to the reunion with the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist is also close friend.
”I’m shaken by the news. This came as a shock. This is a very difficult day for Henke and his family,” said Hagelin in an interview with Expressen.
They were to reunite this winter in Washington, where Carl Hagelin is now starting his third season.
“Thoughts go to Henke, of course, but of course it is a heavy loss for us as well. Our whole team had been looking forward to getting Henke on the squad. Now I do not know how to solve the goalkeeper issue, there are probably not that many vacant goalkeepers with NHL routine out on the market,” said Hagelin.
Hagelin had no idea about Lundqvist’s health issues.
“I did not know anything. The only thing I knew was that he would undergo tests, but all players have to do that when changing clubs.”
Terrible news for Hank and his family! I know how excited he was for the upcoming season and to join the team. Thoughts are with you!!
— Carl Hagelin (@CarlHagelin) December 17, 2020
Nicklas Bäckström, 33, was taken by the news of Henrik Lundqvist’s heart problems.
“I just found out what happened and have not had time to talk to Henke, but it is of course very sad. I had been looking forward to playing with Henke this winter. But of course I understand that health always comes first.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman commented on Lundqvist’s statement in a statement via the league’s social media.
“While we are all sad as hockey fans, about not being able to see Henrik Lundqvist stand in goal for Capital’s next season, we are also grateful that he gets the right care to treat his heart defect. Henrik is a beloved player throughout the NHL and in his native Sweden, and a wonderful ambassador for the sport. We wish him and his family all the best ”.
Lundqvist’s teammate in Washington, Tom Wilson quickly showed his support on social media.
“We are with you in this, buddy. I wish you all the best in the future and hope that we can share the ice sometime again “, writes Lundqvist’s teammate Tom Wilson on Twitter.
Heartbreaking and emotional. I am only concerned and thinking about Henrik Lundqvist as a person and for his family’s wellbeing. We pray for his good health. We and the entire NHL family support the King. The video moved me to tears. https://t.co/02RpYz0I8D
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) December 17, 2020
Lundqvist’s NHL competitors, the Carolina Hurricanes, also sent a message:
“It has always been an honor to compete with you on the ice and we will miss it next season. Take care of you, we wish all the best to your family “, the club writes on Twitter .
By Jon Sorensen