Henrik Lundqvist announces he needs open heart surgery, putting NHL return in doubt

Henrik Lundqvist on Monday announced he is undergoing open-heart surgery.

The veteran NHL goaltender recently revealed he would miss the 2021 NHL season after discovering a heart condition that required him to sit out the year. On Monday, Lundqvist revealed that he is scheduled for open-heart surgery, which will sideline him, perhaps, for the remainder of his career.

Lundqvist’s message in full:

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. Scheduled for open heart surgery now — Aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement, to be more exact.

We all have our mountains to climb. Staying positive here and set on the road to recovery.

A routine physical showed Lundqvist’s heart condition required more testing, leading to the surgery.

After spending his entire NHL career with the Rangers, Lundqvist’s contract was bought out this offseason. He subsequently signed a one-year deal with the Capitals in December. With Lundqvist’s advanced age (38, turning 39 in March), a likely lengthy road to full health, the question of Lundqvist playing another minute in net is very real.

Should Lundqvist decide to hang up the skates, he will leave a legacy behind as one of the NHL’s greatest goaltenders. In addition to numerous Rangers franchise records, he is the only goalie in NHL history to record 30 wins in his first seven seasons, the fastest NHL goalie to 400 victories and is one of just 15 goalies to reach 11, 20-win seasons.

Unfortunately for Lundqvist, the Rangers weren’t able to secure the ever elusive Stanley Cup, despite making an appearance in the 2014 NHL Playoffs.

Well wishes poured out from the puck world for “The King” after the stunning announcement:

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