Starting in 2005, there were three constants when I turned on the TV to watch my three favorite teams; David Wright, Eli Manning, and Henrik Lundqvist. I can now say at the age of 26, the last glimmer of my childhood is officially over. Henrik Lundqvist was my idol, in every sense of the word. As a child you fall in love with the player. And as you grow up into a young man, you learn to appreciate the human being. Henrik Lundqvist covers all the bases. A world class athlete, a first-class person, and the face of the franchise. As great of role model, as you can find.
Hank is my favorite athlete ever. And in my opinion is the 2nd greatest goaltender of all time, only behind Dominik Hasek. He carried the Rangers on his back for over a decade, but sadly was never rewarded for it. I honestly believe his remarkable play as the best goaltender in the league, fooled Rangers management into thinking they were closer to a cup than their roster probably was. They failed him. Never quite giving him the support he needed to win the final game of the season. It is a gut punch that I will never forgive them for.
I could go on and on, but in the end, I am just very sad. I feel the greatest player in franchise history deserved better. I feel there were better and more logical solutions than a buyout. And I feel a giant lump in my throat knowing I will never see Henrik Lundqvist in a Rangers’ sweater ever again. But that’s neither here nor there.
I am forever thankful for the memories he gave me. For helping drag the Rangers out of the dark ages and into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. And I feel privileged to have witnessed one of the best to ever do it. Too many seemed to take him for granted. And I just can’t help but quote one of my favorite movies to express my feelings, “The Injustice. I just can’t take it. I mean, no one’s ever gonna know who saved an entire city.” I just hope the people of Gotham have Commissioner Gordon to whisper to them, “It was, The [King].”
Thank you, Henrik, for everything.
Your Fan Forever,