The end of the 2020-21 playoff tournament for the New York Rangers appears more heartbreaking now that the rumour of veteran goalie Henrik Lundqvist leaving the Big Apple gets more and more real.
Things got very real on Wednesday when Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek revealed in an interview with a Czech news outlet that The King said goodbye to his teammates after the team was ousted from the postseason by the Carolina Hurricanes in the qualifying round.
“After the last match with Carolina, [Henrik Lundqvist] said goodbye, saying it was his last match. He said he didn’t know what would happen to him if the Rangers bought him out or went somewhere else.”
It is an even more uncertain time for Lundqvist seeing that the goaltending market will be quite packed this offseason. With a flooded goalie market that will have Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Murray, and Darcy Kuemper on the block, it will be hard to trade Lundqvist and get interested parties, even if the man is a legend.
Latest chatter has the 38-year-old as a buyout candidate when the window opens soon.
“It was hard for him,” Hajek added about Lundqvist’s farewell to his team.
For the past weeks, Lundqvist has been skating with Frolunda in Sweden. However, when rumours starting surfaced that the veteran goalie might be skating and working out in its arena, Frolunda quickly issued a statement indicating their closed-door sessions are to protect their players as much as possible from the virus and that the team had no information on Lundqvist other than he is not a member of their roster or their team. He spent several seasons with Frolunda before joining the New York Rangers in 2005-06. He might pondering NHL retirement and considering
finishing his career with his old team.
Who knows? But it sounds like Lundqvist knows he won’t be back with the Rangers and that’s why he said his goodbyes to his beloved teammates.