Henrik Lundqvist listed a variety of reasons for signing with the Washington Capitals on Friday after spending the first 15 years of his career with the New York Rangers.
“I think for a few weeks now, I’ve been doing my homework on different scenarios and options for me,” Lundqvist said. “I have to say, the Capitals checked every box when it comes to a team that understands winning, a great coaching staff, and (giving me) an opportunity to play some games.
“Those were the main factors. Starting with a chance to win. At this point of my career that’s the most important thing.”
Lundqvist is hoping history repeats itself and he can end his career just like Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque did 19 years ago.
On June 9, 2001, Bourque won the Stanley Cup for the first time after the Colorada Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final. Bourque was playing in his 22nd and final season in the NHL after spending the first 21 years of his career with the Boston Bruins. Avs captain Joe Sakic let Bourque hoist the Cup first, the only time in NHL history a player other than a captain has done so.
“Obviously, that’s the ultimate story,” Lundqvist said on Friday to Capitals media. “I remember watching that back in Sweden when it happened and it was such a cool moment.”
While Lundavist has had incredible success — he has the sixth-most wins in NHL history — he never backstopped the Rangers to a championship despite making it to the postseason 12 different times. The Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Final once during that time in 2015 but lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games. Lundqvist is only one of two goaltenders in NHL history to have at least 50 playoff wins and never hoist the Cup.
Henrik Lundqvist is 1 of 2 goaltenders in NHL history with at least 50 playoff wins never to have won a Stanley Cup pic.twitter.com/dfV2lLjUdZ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 19, 2016
Is Henrik Lundqvist the greatest NHL goalie ever to not win a Stanley Cup? Only Curtis Joseph has more playoff wins without a Cup. pic.twitter.com/PfO6hFpL6X
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2017
Two decades later, Lundqvist is trying end his career on a high note with a team that recently exorcised its own demons in 2018.
“I think when you start a journey you have to picture it happening first,” Lundqvist said. “So that’s what I’m doing right now. I want to see myself lift that Cup and I want to do it in Washington.”
He added, “You just use it as motivation and then it’s inspiration. And then you just go from there.”
Screenshots courtesy of the Capitals/NHL
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