SECAUCUS, N.J. — Would Kevin Weekes have been surprised back in 2005-06 if someone told him that more than a decade later the guy who replaced him in net for the Rangers still would be at it?
In a word: No.
“Listen, he was a rock star instantly, on and off the ice,” Weekes, now an NHL Network analyst, said of Henrik Lundqvist before appearing on the pregame show Wednesday before the Capitals played the Penguins.
“He’s had an unreal career. He works so hard. I think a lot of people undersell him just based on his look and based on his fashion and everything else.
“But he’s very competitive, he cares, he works exceptionally hard and in spite of everything he’s accomplished he’s still on the ice early with [goalie coach] Benoit Allaire when the schedule permits.
“I’ve talked to him about this: He wants nothing more than to bring a Cup to New York. He’s had the accolades, he’s had the magazine covers, he’ll make a hundred million dollars playing, whatever it is, the All-Star Games, Vezinas, all-time winning goalie for the Rangers. But he wants nothing more than the Cup.”
Might Weekes, 41, still be in goal for the Rangers if Lundqvist had not come along to displace him? He laughed at the question and said, “My knees might not say so.”