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Heart condition will prevent Henrik Lundqvist from joining Capitals, playing this season


NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 10: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers tends the net against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on January 10, 2019 in New York City. The New York Islanders won 4-3. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Stunning news in the NHL on Thursday as Henrik Lundqvist announced he will be unable to join the Washington Capitals this season due to a heart condition.

Lundqvist issued the following statement on his Twitter account:

“It breaks my heart (literally) to share this news: I will not be joining the Capitals this upcoming season. After many weeks of tests and conversations with specialists around the country, it’s been determined that a heart condition will prevent me from taking the ice. Together, we have decided that the risk of playing before remedying my condition is too high. So I will spend the coming months figuring out the best course of action.

For the past two months I’ve been so inspired by the opportunity to play in D.C. and committed to my game, spending every day at the rink to prepare for the upcoming season. The news was very difficult to process but after the last test result earlier this week we knew there was only one way to go from here.

I want to thank the entire Capitals organization for not only giving me this opportunity but also for their support throughout this challenging time. I will take the next few weeks to be with my family and I’ll be back to share the next steps.”

Along with the statement, Lundqvist also released a video through the Capitals.

The Capitals also released the following statement:

“The Washington Capitals are supportive of Henrik’s decision to step away from hockey at this time due to his heart condition. Our players’ health is of the utmost importance, and we stand behind Henrik’s decision. We want to wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”

Lundqvist signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Capitals in free agency following a buyout from the New York Rangers.

He played 15 seasons as a member of the Rangers and was one of the best players in franchise history.

His signing with the Capitals seemed like a great opportunity for him to take one more run at the Stanley Cup. His priority now is obviously his health and well being.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.