Henrik Lundqvist announced in December 2020 that he would be sitting out the entire 2021 season due to a heart condition, but the Washington Capitals might not actually go the entire year without the goalie. The 38-year-old had open-heart surgery in January, announcing it went well, and was already back on the ice in February.
With his recovery progressing, there are reports he could be back before next season.
"Henrik Lundqvist has very quietly continued to skate, he is intent on resuming his career after undergoing open-heart surgery so long as his health allows," TSN's Frank Seravalli reported. "He's awaiting word from doctors this week, a critical appointment that will determine his near-term and long-term future. The Washington Capitals, while everything would have to go right, aren't ruling out a return for Henrik Lundqvist this season."
He had surgery for an aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement, taking five hours to complete. Lundqvist has noted that each step is one in the right direction and while the decision to take time off from his sport was a difficult one, he admitted, but he is staying optimistic.
The veteran signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Capitals in October and was with the New York Rangers for the first 15 seasons of his career.