“Today is a pretty tough and emotional day for me,” the Capitals netminder said. “For several weeks now, I’ve been undergoing several different tests related to a heart condition and after lots of discussions with doctors around the country and finally receiving the last results this week, I, unfortunately, won’t be unable to join the team this year and need to continue the process to fix these issues.”
Lundqvist, who is a future Hall of Famer and one of the most beloved players in the NHL, immediately received an outpouring of support from the NHL community including from his Capitals teammates.
Shortly after his annoucnement, three of Lundqvist’s Capitals teammates took to social media to share their well wishes including Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Carl Hagelin, and Lars Eller.
100 percent health is most important Hank ! My family wish the best for you and hope to see you soon!!! 🙏 https://t.co/cvDJCAAscw
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) December 17, 2020
We’re with you man👊. All the best moving forward with your health and I hope we can share the ice again at some point! https://t.co/oJZCzWebjd
— Tom Wilson (@tom_wilso) December 17, 2020
Terrible news for Hank and his family! I know how excited he was for the upcoming season and to join the team. Thoughts are with you!!
— Carl Hagelin (@CarlHagelin) December 17, 2020
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis appeared especially shaken by the news calling it “heartbreaking and emotional.” He added, “I am only concerned and thinking about Henrik Lundqvist as a person and for his family’s wellbeing. We pray for his good health.”
Heartbreaking and emotional. I am only concerned and thinking about Henrik Lundqvist as a person and for his family’s wellbeing. We pray for his good health. We and the entire NHL family support the King. The video moved me to tears. https://t.co/02RpYz0I8D
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) December 17, 2020
Many NHL franchises also took to social media to extender their support to Lundqvist. Hank’s former team, the New York Rangers, published an especially emotional message on Twitter.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 17, 2020
The note reads:
We have no doubt that Henrik Lundqvist will face this challenge with the same fierce determination and grace that made him one of the greatest goaltenders to ever play the game of hockey, and an inspiration to all of us. He and his family are in our thoughts during this difficult time. He will always be a part of the New York Rangers family.
The Capitals also said that they “are supportive of Henrik’s decision to step away from hockey at this time due to his heart condition. Our players’ health is of the utmost importance, and we stand behind Henrik’s decision. We want to wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”
Statement from the Washington Capitals on Henrik Lundqvist pic.twitter.com/PUvwVKTo0n
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 17, 2020
Other NHL teams went into Hank’s mentions to personally wish him well.
Hope to see you healthy again real soon, stay strong 💪
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 17, 2020
Wishing you the best.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) December 17, 2020
Wishing you the best Henrik and we hope to see you back on the ice in the future!
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 17, 2020
It's always been an honor battling you on the ice, and we'll miss the competition this season
Stay safe, get well, and the best to your family 👊
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) December 17, 2020
Our thoughts are with you, Henrik. 🙏
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) December 17, 2020
Wishing you the best, Henrik. Our thoughts are with you 💙
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 17, 2020
Stay strong, Henrik.
We hope to see you on the ice soon.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) December 17, 2020
Gary Bettman published a statement shortly after the news was announced. The NHL commissioner wrote that “while we are all saddened as hockey fans that we will not be able to watch Henrik tend goal for the Capitals this season, we are also thankful that he will be getting the necessary medical care to deal with his heart condition. Henrik is a beloved player across the NHL and throughout his native Sweden and a wonderful ambassador for the game. We wish him and his family well.”
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 17, 2020
We’re all thinking of you during this difficult time, Hank. Get well soon.
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