The Rangers announced Monday that goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the face of the franchise for 15 seasons from 2005 to 2020, will have his No. 30 jersey retired on Jan. 28, before a game at Madison Square Garden against the Minnesota Wild.
Lundqvist, the Are, Sweden, native who backstopped the Blueshirts to three Eastern Conference finals and one Stanley Cup Final, and who won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender in 2011-12, will be the 11th Ranger to have his number retired.
"Over the franchise’s history, only 11 Rangers players have earned the honor of having their numbers raised to the Garden rafters, where they forever serve as inspiration for others to follow,’’ Rangers owner James L. Dolan said in the press release announcing the event. "For 15 seasons, Henrik Lundqvist embodied everything the Rangers organization stands for – excellence, commitment, pride and leadership. It is only fitting that his No. 30 will now join the legends who have come before him.’’
Lundqvist is the franchise’s all-time winningest goaltender, with 459 regular season victories (459-310-96) and had a 2.43 career goals-against average and .918 save percentage and 64 shutouts. He holds over 50 records for the franchise, including most wins, most appearances by a goaltender, most shutouts, highest save percentage, most playoff appearances (130), most playoff wins (61), and most playoff shutouts (10).
His time with the team ended when he was bought out of the final year of his contract following the 2019-20 season. He signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals, but a heart condition that required open heart surgery prevented him from playing for the Caps, and ultimately, he retired this year.
Stiil in Hunt for a spot
Dryden Hunt, the forward who drew praise from coach Gerard Gallant following the Rangers’ 4-0 loss to the Islanders in Sunday’s preseason opener at the Garden, said he was happy with his performance in the game, but knows he hasn’t made the team yet.
"It's just one game,’’ he said of Sunday. "For me to make an impression and try and make this team, I think I've got to keep doing it every day. So, every time I get on the ice, I’ve just got to try and make the most of that opportunity.’’
Hunt, 25, signed with the Rangers this summer as a free agent after playing 26 games last season for the Arizona Coyotes (three goals, five assists). The Cranbrook, B.C. native originally signed with the Florida Panthers in 2016 as an undrafted free agent. Gallant was the coach in Florida at the time, but he was on his way out and didn’t see much of Hunt then.
He’s seeing him now, though.
"That's what we talked about yesterday when I talked … about a guy making an impression,’’ Gallant said. "Whether it pays off right away now, or if it pays off down the road when you're calling up people. He's just keep doing what he's doing, playing well in the games, and we'll see where it is when the regular season starts.’’
Cut down to 45
The Rangers reduced their camp roster to 45 by sending forward Matt Rempe back to his junior team, Seattle of the WHL and sending forward Karl Henriksson back to his Swedish Hockey League team, Frolunda.