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Friday, May 20, 2022
Home Sports NHL WATCH: Rangers withdraw Henrik Lundqvist's no. 30 jersey before match against...

WATCH: Rangers withdraw Henrik Lundqvist’s no. 30 jersey before match against Wild


New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist see no. 30 jersey will now hang in Madison Square Garden forever. The Rangers held a jersey retirement ceremony for the former Vezina Trophy-winning goalkeeper ahead of Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wilda competition in which all Rangers players wear number 30 to honor Lundqvist.

Lundqvist played with the Rangers for his entire 15-year career, making two All-Star teams and winning the Vezina Trophy for being the league’s best goalkeeper in 2011-’12. He retired after the 2019-20 season at the age of 37.

The Rangers crowd flooded MSG with “Hen-rik” songs before Lundqvist reached the ice, and as soon as he did, they gave him an exciting standing ovation. The energy remained palpable through the hoisting of his banner.

An emotional Lundqvist thanked family and friends during his speech, but he addressed his biggest outcry to the Rangers fans who watched his storybook unfold from a career page-by-page.

“I am so glad I get the opportunity to say thank you,” Lunqvist told the MSG crowd. “Thank you to all the wonderful fans here and around this wonderful city. You have supported me throughout my career.

“It was an amazing experience, and it gave me so much joy. And it definitely played a big part in making my trip so special, so thank you to everyone here and around the city.”

Before Lundqvist made his speech, the Rangers handed him presents. Former tennis star John McEnroe has given Lundqvist a guitar designed by Dave Gunnarsson, who also designed Lundqvist’s goalkeeper masks. Lundqvist also got a framed display of each puck from his 64 career exclusions along with team-drawn bottles of wine.

A seventh-round pick from the Rangers in the 2000s NHL Entry Draft, Lundqvist quickly exceeded expectations and set numerous franchise records: He is the first of all time in games played among goalkeepers (887), wins (459), saves (23,509), saves percentage (.918), eliminations (64) and minutes (51,818). The 39-year-old’s save percentage and wins overall ranking 11th and sixth, respectively, in NHL history.

Lundqvist is the 11th player in Rangers’ 95-year history to retire, joining Ed Giacomin (No. 1), Brian Leetch (No. 2), Harry Howell (No. 3), Rod Gilbert ( No. 7). , Andy Bathgate and Adam Graves (No. 9), Mark Messier and Vic Hadfield (No. 11), Jean Ratelle (No. 19) and Mike Richter (No. 35).

Many current and former Rangers have congratulated Lundqvist ahead of the ceremony, including one whose Rangers jersey has already been retired in Richter.

“I have so much respect for how you approach the game, the level of professionalism and just absolute perfection that you imprint on yourself every night, and it has shown through your career,” Richter said.

“When you were growing up, it was so much fun to see you play and see you at MSG,” said Rangers’ defender. Adam Fox, a former Norris Trophy winner and All-Star. “It’s such an honor to be able to play with you for a year and get to know you a little bit and see what a wonderful person you are. So, really stay for you, and no one deserves it anymore.”

Lundqvist was more than a hockey star during his playing days; he was a walking legend in New York. The city’s other sports icons took note, and they wished them luck.

“Not a better person, more deserving of getting their number retired than you,” former New York Giants quarterback and twice Super Bowl champion Eli Manning said. “What an incredible career, in New York, as the goalkeeper, as the leader. You were the man.”

“You had a great career, you were a great Ranger, and good luck,” said former New York Yankees pitcher and Cy Young winner CC Sabathia. “What an honor.”

The Rangers are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 28-12-4 under first-year coach Gerard Gallant. With the environment in MSG electric after Lundqvist’s jersey retirement, they will have a strong chance to build on their promising campaign against Minnesota.





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