Former New York Rangers great Henrik LundqvistÂ will have open heart surgery to help correct a heart condition, the goaltender announced on his Twitter account Monday.
“Last 3 weeks my focus has shifted from training camp and the upcoming season to my health and what I can and can’t do,” Lundqvist writes. “Scheduled for an open heart surgery now â€” aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement, to be more exact. We all have our mountains to climb. Staying positive here and set on the road to recovery.”
Lundqvist, 38, had spent the last 15 seasons with the Rangers, who bought out the final year of his contract at the end of last season. A free agent, Lundqvist signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals in October before announcing earlier this month he would be unable to play this season, which begins Jan. 13.
Lundqvist left the Rangers with his name all over top-10 lists in NHL history. Heâ€™s sixth in wins (459), seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games by a goalie (887) and ninth in time on ice (51,816 minutes and 19 seconds). He also ranks 16th in shutouts with 64.
The Blueshirts selected the native of Sweden in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL Draft, and he took over in goal for the Rangers in the 2005-06 season.
Lundqvist, the 2012 Vezina trophy winner, has appeared in more than 1,000 career games, including playoffs. He has a career 2.43 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in the regular season and a 2.30 GAA and .921 mark in the postseason.
Lundqvist did not offer a timetable as to when the procedure would take place.