New York – Henrik Lundqvist announced over social media Sunday that he is not expecting to play in the NHL this season.
The veteran goaltender underwent open-heart surgery in January and returned to the ice less than two months later.
While the relatively quick return was seen as progress, Lundqvist acknowledged in a series of tweets Sunday that he doesn’t envision returning to the NHL this season.
“Right after getting back on the ice after surgery, I made it my ‘stretch goal’ to join (the Washington Capitals) for the end of the season,” the 39-year-old Lundqvist wrote. “Training has been going really well and I’ve been feeling good — but my heart isn’t quite ready.
“Last week’s checkup showed some inflammation around the heart that now requires a few months more of rest and steady recovery. While it’s not what I hoped for, I know this is all part of the process of getting back to 100%.”
The longtime New York Rangers goaltender and 2012 Vezina Trophy recipient signed a one-year contract worth $1.5 million with the Capitals on Oct. 9.
Lundqvist and the Rangers parted ways after 15 years on Sept. 30 when the team bought out the final season of his seven-year, $59.5 million contract.
He left the Rangers with his name all over top-10 lists in NHL history. He’s sixth in wins (459), seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games by a goalie (887) and ninth in time on ice (51,818 minutes). He also ranks 17th in shutouts with 64.
The Rangers selected the Sweden native in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL Draft, and he took over in goal for the Rangers in the 2005-06 season.
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