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Henrik Lundqvist hits the ice weeks after heart surgery

Henrik Lundqvist returned to the ice for a workout just weeks after open heart surgery and is working to get back to full strength. Bob McKenzie looks at the Caps goaltender's return plan and his NHL future.

Nearly two months after heart surgery, Henrik Lundqvist is back on the ice.

In January, the 38-year-old netminder underwent open heart surgery, which will keep him from playing in the 2020-21 NHL season. He signed with the Capitals in October after being bought out by the Rangers, but announced in December that a heart condition was discovered and he would need an aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement.

Lundqvist put on his goalie gear and hit the ice Tuesday for a puck-stopping session.

“The best type of workday!” he wrote on social media.

The other big occasion was Lundqvist driving himself to the rink, which he said was his first time behind the wheel in nine weeks.

While he’s no longer a Ranger, his old teammates have been keeping up with his progress and hoping to see him back in the NHL again.

“Thank God, some good news,” said Rangers forward Chris Kreider. “Nothing could warm your heart more than seeing that. I mean, open heart surgery how long ago, and he’s already feeling better, he’s already active. You’d expect nothing less from Hank. He’s not the kind of guy who is going to sit on his hands and you know he’s got to recover actively. He’s a guy who always needs to move.

“That’s some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time and we’re thrilled for him. Hopefully he’s got a lot of hockey left in him and he keeps on progressing and leaves this in his rearview mirror.”


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.