Mike Richter retired from hockey at age 36 after injuries and age caught up with him, two years older than a fellow Rangers goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, is now.
But Richter, the only starting goalie for a Rangers Stanley Cup winner since 1940, believes King Henrik still has some good years left in him.
“I think one of the reasons Lundqvist has been so good is mentally he’s so advanced,” Richter said Tuesday at BTIG’s Charity Day event in Manhattan. “So when he came in as a young guy he was ahead of the curve given his age.
“And when your body starts to give out a little bit — and sometimes it happens by degrees or right off a cliff with injuries — if you are strong mentally you can keep it going for a while.
“You saw it with Gretz, you saw it with Messier, where maybe at 38, 39, 40 you’re not physically as strong as you were at 28 but mentally you are there and you know what it takes to get you going.
“The great players seem to be able to do that, the Yzermans, the Lemieux’s, even though their physical days are a little bit behind them they’re so advanced in terms of how they prepare mentally.
“I think Lundqvist has it on either side of that — early on and late — to keep it going. So I think he’s got plenty of great play left in him.”