Hextall on Hockey: Is King Henrik done?

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 04: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers looks on after the ceremonial handshake after Game Three of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 04, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers 4-1 in this game to win the five-game series 3-0. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

Since arriving in New York in 2005, Henrik Lundqvist has won the Vezina Trophy, led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final, was selected five times as an all-star, and led his native Sweden to Olympic gold.

The King, as he’s affectionally known, has spent his entire 15-year NHL career as the backstop on Broadway.

But now, at 38 years of age, Lundqvist is a free agent for the first time in his NHL career.  So now what?

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In a post on social media, Lundqvist thanked the fans, the organization, his family and finished off by saying, “Time to figure out what’s next …”

…leaving one to wonder if the King will call it quits and retire or will he skate to see another day? Another team?

Read more: Hextall on Hockey: Winnipeg Jets select 10th after Rangers get lucky draft ball

I think Lundqvist wants to and will play next season. The King wants a Cup. It’s the one thing missing from his resume.

But in order to accomplish this, Lundqvist has to relinquish the idea of being the starting goaltender and relish in the role as a talented tandem on a contender such as Colorado — a team that saw its Cup dream dashed when starter Philipp Grubauer was injured… perhaps it’s a fit?

But currently, there is a crowded crease of available goalies as Braden Holtby hits the open market and Stanley Cup darling for the Stars, Anton Khudobin, is a pending unrestricted free agent.

It will be interesting to see how much cachet the King still has.
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