Capitals legend Henrik Lundqvist had his jersey retired by the New York Rangers on Friday ahead of the team’s game against the Minnesota Wild. The Rangers said Lundqvist would receive the honor two hours after he officially announced his retirement on August 20.
Lundqvist became the eleventh Rangers player in franchise history to have his jersey retired. Hank joined Ed Giacomin’s no. 1, Brian Leetch’s no. 2, Harry Howell’s no. 3, Rod Gilbert’s no. 7, Andy Bathgate’s no. 9, Adam Graves’ no. 9, Vic Hadfield’s no. 11, Mark Messier’s no. 11, Jean Ratelle’s no. 19, and Mike Richter’s no. 35 up in the rafters.
“April 2001 – the first time I set foot in [Madison Square Garden],” Lundqvist said during his speech. “I was drafted the year before. I was here to watch get a glimpse to play in the NHL and be a New York Ranger. I remember I left with a lot in my mind. This place both scared me and inspired me at the same time. People were so passionate, so intense. They cared about the team, the game. The competitor in me absolutely loved it.”
Lundqvist would go on to post a 459-310-96 record with a .918 save percentage and a 2.43 goals against average during his 15-year career in New York.