Henrik Lundqvist will undergo open-heart surgery to address the heart condition that will keep him out of the 2020-21 season. Lundqvist made the announcement Monday on social media.
The Capitals signed Lundqvist to a one-year deal to back up and mentor Ilya Samsonov, but the news that he will miss the season has left the team scrambling for options to replace him. Lundqvist has dealt with the heart condition throughout his career, but Washington's medical staff pushed for further evaluation of it after he signed with the Caps.
"A routine physical that was an early physical turned into, well we need to explore further what's going on with you," general manager Brian MacLellan said.
MacLellan added, "We started further exploring where he's at physically and his risk level is not acceptable for him to continue to play, for him and his family."
The fact that Lundqvist will now undergo open-heart surgery reflects just how serious his condition has become.
At 38 years old, Lundqvist's condition and this upcoming procedure casts his future career in doubt. We may have seen the last of Lundqvist in the NHL. Considering what he is going through, however, there are more important things he needs to focus on than hockey.