Capitals not ruling out potential return for Henrik Lundqvist this season

Former New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. (Kathy Willens/AP)

As Henrik Lundqvist continues to work his way back from open-heart surgery, Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan isn't ruling out the possibility for the veteran goalie to return this season.

The 39-year-old netminder and long-time New York Ranger had aortic valve, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement procedures done on Jan. 5. Less than two months later, he posted a video of himself in full gear taking shots.

"I think it's impressive what he's doing," MacLellan told "I see the videos like you guys see the video. I don't know how likely or unlikely it is. I mean, he had valve replacement surgery. It would be pretty incredible if he was able to come back. I guess we'll see where he is at the end here.

"Probably unlikely, but I wouldn't rule it out."

Lundqvist's condition was revealed after a physical led to further tests being conducted when he signed a one-year, $1.5-million deal with the Capitals. The future Hall of Famer said he remains focused on his health and would take his time making a decision on his future.

The Capitals have had to rely on young goaltenders Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek between the pipes this season. Washington currently sits second in the East Division with a 16-6-4 record and could look to add some experience in net ahead of the playoffs.

"I think we need a bigger sample size on Samsonov to see where he's at, how much of the load can he carry," MacLellan said on the team's goaltending situation. "I think we've got a good sense of where Vitek's at and I would think Vitek's going to continue to get better too. We'll monitor here over the next month and see where we're at."

When submitting content, please abide by our  submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.
We use cookies to improve your experience. Learn More or change your cookie preferences. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.