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Henrik Lundqvist explains why playing for Sweden at worlds is a big deal

Ice Hockey Gold Medal - Sweden v Canada

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of Sweden looks on during the Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Canada on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Without knowing details, you might think that representing Sweden at the World Hockey Championship would be fairly mundane for Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist has enjoyed plenty of international glory, and at 35, you’d think he might want a break after another roller coaster season with the New York Rangers.

As it turns out ... nope, playing for Sweden is actually a pretty big deal for Hank, as he told the Rangers website.

“My brother [Joel] is the captain there and I haven’t played with him for 12 years,” Lundqvist said. “Also the fact that we’re not part of the Olympics. I see this as an opportunity to play for my country one more time and with my brother. I’m going to go there and try and finish really strong this season and I’m going to reflect.”

Let’s ignore the (technically unsettled?) 2018 Olympics talk and focus on the fact that, yes, it’s really cool that Henrik will get to play with Joel Lundqvist again.

As a reminder, Henrik’s twin was selected in third round (68th overall) in the 2000 NHL Draft, four rounds before Henrik was almost “Mr. Irrelevant” as the 205th pick by the Rangers. Joel played 134 regular-season games for the Dallas Stars and is now suiting up for Frolunda HC in Sweden.

We may see Henrik again in a variety of international settings, but it’s plausible that he might not get another chance to play at a high level with his twin brother again.

So, yeah, that stands as pretty good motivation to delay a summer vacation.