For Henrik Lundqvist, it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later

The New York Rangers haven’t seen the last of Henrik Lundqvist

For New York Rangers’ fans, losing longtime franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist this off-season struck an emotional chord.  Much like Derek Jeter, Patrick Ewing, Eli Manning, David Wright and countless other iconic New York athletes over the last two decades, Lundqvist seemed destined to finish his Hall of Fame career in this great city.

The good news for Rangers’ fans, however, is that even after setting his sights on Washington D.C., Lundqvist himself has confirmed that he is not yet done in New York.  Johan Rylander of the Swedish newspaper, Göteborgs-Posten, sat down with Lundqvist for a lengthy interview, where they discussed Hank’s goals with the Washington Capitals, and what he plans to do in his post career.  Much to the joy of New York Rangers’ fans, a lot of what Lundqvist spoke about was how he planned to rejoin the Rangers later in his life.

“I’ll be a part of the Rangers for the rest of my life, in one way or another.  Both I and the Rangers have been clear about that. That’s how it will be.”

– Henrik Lundqvist, via Johan Rylander, Goteborgs-Posten

Rylander then asked Lundqvist to expand on his statement.  Would kind of role would he play within the organization? Would he come back as a player? As a coach? Some sort of front office role? Lundqvist had this to say:

“It will be the role they want it to be.  I don’t know if the role will be small or if there will be something more. It is further ahead. It’s all about timing. It’s just not now.

– Henrik Lundqvist, via Johan Rylander, Goteborgs-Posten

Honestly though, to me, it’s not surprising.  Lundqvist was the face of the Rangers’ franchise from 2005 until 2020, I’d even go as far as to say that he was the face of New York hockey for over a decade.  The reason I’m not surprised by this news is because it’s par for the course.

Think about how many iconic athletes have come back in one way or another, to play a role with their beloved franchise.  Patrick Ewing sat down to represent the New York Knicks during the 2019 NBA Draft. David Wright is the special advisor to the chief operating officer of the New York Mets. Steve Yzerman is the general manager for the Detroit Red Wings, and even within our own New York Rangers organization, we have John Davidson helping Jeff Gorton run the show up front.

For me, and so many others, I’ve never known a Rangers team without Henrik Lundqvist.  But this gives those of us are who still reeling over the loss of King Henrik a reason to rejoice! It appears as if Hank and the Rangers have a mutual interest in bringing him back in one way or another, and while he might not be on the ice when it happens, there is still a chance that Lundqvist may, after all, get that long elusive New York Rangers Stanley Cup Championship ring on his finger.

“I feel that I will somehow be connected to the Rangers forever after so many years and all the people I got to know in the club, from the owner on down.”

– Henrik Lundqvist, via Johan Rylander, Goteborgs-Posten