Henrik Lundqvist currently finds himself in a tough situation with the New York Rangers. The long-time netminder has been the face of the franchise in New York for years, but has seen himself demoted to a third-string role with the additions of young goaltenders Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev.
However, in an interview with GP-Sporten’s Johan Rylander (translation provided by Forever Blueshirts), the 38-year-old veteran made it clear he sees himself playing in the NHL for years to come, but is also ready for a play-in series with the Carolina Hurricanes.
“The focus is training and this summer,” said Lundqvist, who has appeared in 887 games with the Rangers throughout his career. “Now we go for it right here. I can sense that I have it in me – to go another few years over there in the NHL. I’m sure about it! It’s clear that I’m thinking about how much I love hockey and how long I think I can continue, or even want to continue. I also realized that I can’t look that far ahead.”
Lundqvist did note that he is disappointed in his current status as the team’s No. 3 goaltender after seeing his starting role taken away from him, but doesn’t necessarily blame the Rangers’ organization. Lundqvist appeared in 25 games before the all-star break, but once Shestorkin was recalled, the veteran saw just five games after the break, two of which were in relief roles. He finished the regular season with career lows of a 3.16 GAA and a .905 save percentage. There has even been some talk that the Rangers could consider buying out their longtime goaltender and the $8.5MM due to him next season.
“What am I supposed to say about that? I had a picture of how the season would develop, what I had in mind,” Lundqvist said. “When things turned out the way they did, I was surprised. But at the same time, part of me understands the situation. I’m not blind. They’re thinking ahead. There are many pieces that go into building a team right now, but also for the future. You’re going to have to widen the view a little. Obviously it is disappointing to not play as much as you want. That’s where the disappointment is. It’s more … not on them (the Rangers), but more that it became as it became. And if I not had been disappointed, then I sell myself short. I want to play, to deliver at a high level. If I don’t, I will be disappointed.”