By Ian Oland
TSN’s Frank Seravalli is reporting that Henrik Lundqvist would like to resume his career and is eyeing a possible return to the Washington Capitals this season.
Lundqvist, who underwent open-heart surgery four months ago, is continuing to skate and take shots privately. This week, he is awaiting word from doctors on if an NHL return is possible either in the short or long term.
Seravalli revealed the news during a TSN Insider Trading segment:
The Washington Capitals have been doing their due diligence on the goaltending market. No secret that they’d potentially like to add an experienced veteran piece. But what about one potentially already in-house? What a story it would be. Henrik Lundqvist has very quietly continued to skate. He’s intent on resuming his career after undergoing open-heart surgery so as long as health allows. He’s awaiting word from doctors this week. A critical appointment that will determine his near-term and long-term future. The Washington Capitals, while everything would have to go right, are not ruling out a return for Henrik Lundqvist this season.
Seravalli added on the DFO Rundown podcast on April 3 that Lundqvist has yet to take shots up high.
I know he’s been working out. I know he’s been taking shots. The next step in that process after this open-heart surgery is to take shots up high. He hadn’t gotten there yet, but there seemed to be some thought that this week we’d have a better sense of where he stands. He’s under contract. He’s been on LTIR. He has the low cap hit. If you’ve got two young goalies, how good does Henrik Lundqvist look if he can return to some type of form as an insurance policy.
Lundqvist originally signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Capitals in October. Lundqvist was expected to back up Ilya Samsonov this season before a heart condition forced him under the knife.
Without Hank, the Capitals have played well and are atop the East Division. But they have struggled in goal, posting the sixth-worst save percentage in the NHL at 90.2 percent. The Capitals also were without Samsonov for nearly two months after the young goaltender tested positive for COVID-19 in January and had severe symptoms. In a surprise, rookie Vitek Vanecek has started a large majority of the games (27 of 39) this season, winning the NHL’s Rookie of the Month in January.
The NHL’s trade deadline is Monday at 3 PM so Lundqvist’s future will likely play a big role on if the Capitals pull the trigger on any deals or not.
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