- The Washington Times
Sunday, April 11, 2021

Henrik Lundqvist made it his “stretch goal” to continue his NHL career this season after undergoing open heart surgery in January. But the 39-year-old goaltender, who signed with the Washington Capitals in October 2020, has shelved those ambitious plans.

In a two-tweet statement Sunday, Lundqvist announced that he wouldn’t return to the ice to play for the Capitals this season because his “heart isn’t quite ready.” He said a checkup last week showed inflammation around his heart, requiring a few months of rest and recovery.

“Right after getting back on the ice after surgery, I made it my ‘stretch goal’ to join @Capitals for the end of the season,” Lundqvist’s first tweet read. “Training has been going really well and I’ve been feeling good - but my heart isn’t quite ready.”

Last week’s checkup showed some inflammation around the heart that now requires a few months more of rest and steady recovery,” Lundqvist continued. “While it’s not what I hoped for, I know this is all part of the process of getting back to 100%.”

Lundqvist returned to the ice less than two months after surgery. He had first announced in December that he’d miss the season due to a heart condition, but the longtime New York Rangers shot-stopper hoped for a potential return.

Now, that looks as if it won’t happen, leaving Washington with Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov unless the team makes a trade ahead of Monday’s deadline.

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