“This is going to hurt so much.”
“I’m going to throw up.”
Those are just some of the sentiments New York Rangers fans have passed along upon hearing reports that franchise legend, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, won’t be going all too far away for the final chapter of his Hall-of-Fame NHL career.
Multiple reports on Tuesday night during the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft disclosed that Lundqvist — who spent 15 years with the Rangers — will be signing with the division-rival Washington Capitals.
The move cannot happen until at least Friday when the NHL free-agency period opens up.
Going to Washington would give Lundqvist a golden opportunity to win that elusive Stanley Cup he couldn’t win with the Rangers.
A loaded team who was a top-four finisher in the Eastern Conference last season, the Capitals are in the process of making some notable tweaks to their ranks outside of Lundqvist.
The well-traveled and respected Peter Laviolette will take over as head coach after the Capitals were bounced out of the first round by the Islanders, prompting them to fire Todd Reirden.
It is also anticipated that they will let veteran goalie Braden Holtby — who carried the franchise to its first-ever Stanley Cup three years ago — will be let go in free agency.
The highly-touted Ilya Samsonov will take over as Washington’s No. 1 netminder at just 23 years old, but the potential signing of Lundqvist gives them an ultimate security blanket should the youngster struggle with consistency over his first full NHL season — he only appeared in 26 games last year.
Capitals general manager didn’t try to play coy when asked about it, either.
“We’re looking for a backup veteran goaltender,” he said during the draft. “He’s a really solid candidate for us.”
Lundqvist’s availability comes on the heels of the Rangers buying out the final year of his contract last week. His sizable contract became a burden for the rebuilding side, which has its new franchise goalie in Igor Shesterkin and a backup in Alexandar Georgiev.