December 28, 2020
Veteran NHL goaltender Henrik Lundqvist announced Monday that he will have open-heart surgery.
“Last 3 weeks my focus has shifted from training camp and the upcoming season to my health and what I can and can’t do,” he posted to social media.
“Scheduled for an open heart surgery now – aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement, to be more exact.”
The longtime New York Rangers goaltender and 2012 Vezina Trophy recipient announced on Dec. 17 that he would miss the season because of an issue with his heart, but Monday’s announcement offered more specifics.
Lundqvist, 38, signed a one-year contract worth $1.5 million with the Capitals on Oct. 9. The move came on the heels of Washington parting ways with fellow former Vezina Trophy recipient Braden Holtby in free agency.
Washington was expected to have Ilya Samsonov, 23, as its primary starter, with Lundqvist serving as the backup.
The Capitals wished him well after Lundqvist shared the news of his pending surgery.
“The Capitals and the entire hockey world are with you Hank, and wish you a speedy recovery,” a team statement said.
Lundqvist and the Rangers parted ways after 15 years on Sept. 30 when the team bought out the final season of his seven-year, $59.5 million contract.
He left the Rangers with his name all over top-10 lists in NHL history. He’s sixth in wins (459), seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games by a goalie (887) and ninth in time on ice (51,816 minutes and 19 seconds). He also ranks 16th in shutouts with 64.
The Rangers selected the Sweden native in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL Draft, and he took over in goal for the Rangers in the 2005-06 season.
On Sunday, the Capitals announced they signed goalie Craig Anderson to a professional tryout agreement. Anderson, 39, had an 11-17-2 record with a 3.25 GAA and a .902 save percentage in 34 games with the Ottawa Senators last season.
–Field Level Media