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Long Live The King

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When it comes to reflecting on the remarkable career of Henrik Lundqvist, which ended with his retirement Friday after heart surgery prevented him from playing last season, it’s hard to know where to start.

Maybe it’s on the ice, where Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy in 2012, an Olympic Gold Medal in 2006, a Silver in 2014 and a World Championship in 2017, and posted numbers that will undoubtedly land him in the Hall of Fame: sixth in NHL wins with 459, seventh in saves (23,509), a career .918 save percentage that ranks fourth among goalies to play at least 500 games, and the only goalie in NHL history to start his career with seven straight 30-win seasons, a streak that ended with 24 wins (in 43 starts) during the lockout-shortened 2013 season before posting at least 30 wins in each of the following four seasons.

“His consistency over the years is insane,” said fellow Swede Linus Ullmark, who grew up idolizing Lundqvist.

Maybe it’s with his impact on Swedish goaltenders, inspiring the next generation in his home country to play the position and believe they could do it at the highest level and on the biggest stages. Maybe it’s the way Lundqvist commanded those stages and the brightest lights of Manhattan, becoming the face of the New York Rangers for 15 seasons, transcending the sport itself with his fashion and style, landing on People Magazine best looking lists, playing tennis – and in a band – with John McEnroe, or guitar on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

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