Rangers legend Lundqvist announces retirement

Saying “it’s time,” goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has announced his retirement, ending a legendary 15-year NHL career.

“For the last 30 years, I have devoted my life to the game of hockey … and now it’s time to walk away from the game I love and begin a new chapter,” Lundqvist wrote in a statement on Twitter on Friday. “The future excites me. I’ve met so many amazing people over the years that will help to guide and inspire me in my new journey.”

Lundqvist, 39, will always be linked to his years with the New York Rangers, with whom he was a five-time All-Star and won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie in 2011-12. After his run with the Rangers ended, Lundqvist signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals for 2020-21 but never played for the team after undergoing open-heart surgery in January.

He was the face of the Rangers — and one of the most popular athletes in New York City — for over a decade. The Rangers drafted Lundqvist in the seventh round in 2000, and he made the jump from Sweden to the NHL in 2005-06.

“Thank you @nyrangers and New York City,” Lundqvist wrote. “I’m a born Swede but I’ll always feel like a New Yorker thanks to you. Thank you @NHL. This league was everything I dreamed of and more. Lastly, thank you to the game of hockey and its fans! You gave my life purpose and I have loved every single minute of it!”

Lundqvist retires with a record of 459-310-96 in 887 career NHL games, with a save percentage of .918, a 2.43 goals-against average and 64 shutouts. He is the Rangers’ franchise leader in all those categories.

“I’m extremely grateful for what hockey has brought me and taught me in life,” Lundqvist wrote. “These lessons will never leave me. Thank you to all the coaches and players that helped me throughout my career.”

Information from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan was used in this report.

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