Henrik Lundqvist on Future with Rangers: 'Nothing Lasts Forever'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2020

New York Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Ottawa Senators in the first period of their hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010.  (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Henny Ray Abrams/Associated Press

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist hinted Sunday that his time with the team could be coming to an end. 

"We'll see what happens in the future," he said on the Luuk & Hallberg show (h/t Danny Abriano of SNY). "A lot happened to me during the year. I played less."

He continued:

"Nothing lasts forever, you have a goal image and dream, but one must also adapt to the surroundings and reality. This summer we will see what happens. I've always seen myself [playing for the] Rangers and [that lasting] for a very long time."

Lundqvist, 38, has made just 26 starts (30 appearances) for the Rangers this season, posting a 10-12-3 record with a 3.66 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. Alexandar Georgiev made the most starts (34) for the Rangers this season, while prospect Igor Shesterkin (12 starts) flashed his exciting upside when he got to play, going 10-2 with a 2.52 GAA and a .932 save percentage.

He's clearly the goalie of the future in New York.

Rangers Videos @SNYRangers

Who is Igor Shesterkin's idol? "Lundqvist. He was, he is, and he always will be my idol" (h/t @kvadr1412) https://t.co/DpA49CvPZ8

The question for the Rangers is whether they will play again this season. It's possible the NHL will simply bypass the regular season once the league returns from its hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic and go directly into postseason play.

For a Rangers team trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the final wild-card spot, that could mean the end of their season. And it could mean the end for Lundqvist, though he's still under contract through the 2020-21 season.

"I had a certain role in the team for almost 15 years," he said. "I knew exactly the conditions. Now it changed sharply. So I think a lot daily, almost every hour, for months. It gets pretty hard mentally. Now that I am home I focus on my family and gather my thoughts. Then maybe I'll start thinking about the future for a while."

The league has also reportedly kicked around the idea of a 24-team playoff format, which could include the Rangers depending on how it was formatted. Lundqvist might then be given the swan song he deserves. But even in that scenario, the Swede may struggle to get a game given the superior play of Georgiev and Shesterkin.

However, having the experienced Lundqvist available for a must-win game, with the hope he could turn back the clock and provide some of his old magic, would be a far more suiting close to his Rangers career than the current trajectory.