Since being bought out by the New York Rangers last week, the future of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been a hot topic around the hockey world. Some think he may retire so he spent his entire NHL career with the Rangers, while thoughts of him exploring free agency or even going back to Sweden to play with his brother Joel are also a strong possibility.
Originally discussed brought up over the weekend on Saturday Headlines with David Amber, Chris Johnston, and Elliotte Friedman, it was noted that the Washington Capitals were clearly interested in Lundqvist’s services. That talk intensified really early this morning with a couple tweets from Bob McKenzie of TSN.
McKenzie makes it known that the Capitals are the front runners, and that the deal would be a short term bargain contract. One that would also make sense for Lundqvist as well as it would for the Capitals. However, it was noted that any deal between the two would not be able to be formalized until Friday, October 9th.
This works for both Lundqvist and the capitals because for one, they both are very familiar with each other. The two have faced off against each other five times in the postseason, and have been in the Metro Division together since the 2015-16 season. So the familiarity between the two parties is there, and helps with doing business together.
Secondly, it has been reported by Mark Fisher of the New York Post that Lundqvist’s wife and kids are likely to stay in New York for the upcoming season and being in Washington DC would keep Lundqvist close to home. Also with the thought that his family would be staying New York, it also puts the idea of going back home to Sweden on the backburner, at least for now.
And finally, it works for the Capitals as they’ll get a proven veteran who can work both on and off the ice with sophmore goalie Ilya Samsonov, who went 16-6-2 in rookie season in 2019-20, as the Capitals expect Braden Holtby to hit free agency on Friday. Lundqvist can work with Samsonov in regards to his game and help with the mental and physical aspects of being a number one goaltender in the NHL, but also guide Samsonov off the ice as well in how to conduct himself as a professional, and grow his brand.
While the loss of Holtby will be felt here in Washington, gaining a veteran like Lundqvist would be a positive. Lundqvist may not be a starter for the Capitals, but he will be a positive force to help the Capitals make it back to the playoffs, and hopefully earn Lundqvist his first Stanley Cup. However, like it was mentioned at the beginning of this article, this can not be formalized until this Friday, and Lundqvist also has suiters in Vegas and Carolina. Only time will tell us what will happen come Friday, but in the mean time it’s good to know that Lundqvist still has that fire to compete and win in the game that he loves.