Best wishes to longtime New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as he readies to undergo serious heart surgery, per his announcement on social media on Monday. King Henrik was planning to play this 2021 season with the Washington Capitals after a long, Hall of Fame-level career stopping pucks for the Rangers but announced in the last few weeks that he’d be forced to sit out while dealing with a newly discovered heart condition.
King Henrik said he needs aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement in an open-heart surgery, and that sounds pretty significant to this medical layman.
Let’s hope things go well enough that Lundqvist can resume his distinguished hockey career if he indeed wants to after the fact, but the bottom line is simply hoping King Henrik can simply recuperate and heal well enough to have a normal life post-surgery. He’s been a class act for a long, long time in addition to being a stellar goalie for the Blueshirts, and that kind of guy deserves a happy ending to this story.
Now, on to the puck links:
*In their search for some defensemen help, the Bruins have apparently shown interest in free agent D-man Ben Hutton after he had a solid year with the LA Kings. Hutton would be a really serviceable guy that could be a bargain for Boston. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Wondering how big goalie Ben Bishop is feeling after a strange offseason where he battled a knee injury and watched Anton Khudobin lead his Stars team all the way to the Stanley Cup Final? (The Athletic)
*Sheng Peng takes some guesses as to which players are going to end up on the taxi squad for the San Jose Sharks. (San Jose Hockey Now)
*Cool Chi-Town Pucks podcast where NBC Sports Chicago hockey analyst Nick Gismondi talks about the positive influence that FOH (Friend of Haggs) Eddie Olczyk has had on his broadcasting career. Edzo is truly one of the good ones.
With only 16 days until the NHL season, it only makes sense to honor Eddie Olczyk.
Listen below for a clip of @NickGismondi sharing the type of person Eddie Olczyk is.
— Chi Town Pucks (@ChiTownPucks) December 28, 2020
*I truly miss Newfies on the Boston Bruins roster and that point is underscored by this hilarious video from a pair of Newfoundland boys on the Team Canada World Junior entry this year, Alex Newhook and Dawson Mercer.
“Whadd’ya at b’y?”
“Crooked as sin”
“Fire up a scoff”
Alex Newhook & Dawson Mercer are proudly representing Newfoundland at this year’s #WorldJuniors – and are also teaming up to teach some provincial slang: https://t.co/nUd31IOW1L#TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/kt2kPz5aY7
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 28, 2020
*For something completely different: Good piece by FOH Steve Buckley on the late Phil Niekro and his impactful influence on the career fortunes of Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. (The Athletic)