Rangers to retire Henrik Lundqvist's No. 30 against Wild on Jan. 28

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit (Paul Sancya/AP).

The New York Rangers will retire Henrik Lundqvist's No. 30 in an on-ice ceremony prior to the team's game against the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 28, 2022, the team announced Monday.

“Over the franchise’s history, only 11 Rangers players have earned the honor of having their numbers raised to the Garden rafters, where they forever serve as inspiration for others to follow,” James Dolan, executive chairman of MSG Sports, said in a statement. “For 15 seasons, Henrik Lundqvist embodied everything the Rangers organization stands for – excellence, commitment, pride, and leadership. It is only fitting that his No. 30 will now join the legends who have come before him.”

The Swede starred for years for the New York Rangers, where he piled up 459 wins along with a 2.43 goals-against average and 64 shutouts in 15 seasons.

He is sixth in NHL history in wins, seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games played (887), ninth in starts (871), ninth in time on ice (51,816:51) and 17th in shutouts, according to the NHL.

He also helped Sweden win gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

The Rangers bought out Lundqvist's contact in September 2020 and he signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Washington Capitals in October. He never took the ice after announcing he had a heart condition. The five-time All Star had surgery in January, but didn't begin workouts until last month and became an unrestricted free agent July 28.

The man known as "King Henrik" was wildly popular and his departure from the Rangers was painful to many fans, even if it was expected with Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev waiting in the wings. His deal with Washington came with the hope of Lundqvist earning his first Stanley Cup championship.

Instead, he will head into retirement. Lundqvist said he was excited about the future but did not detail specific plans.

"There are many things I love about the game: From the excitement I felt as an 8-year-old at my first practice to the 15 years of butterflies I had every time I took the ice in the greatest city in the world," he wrote. "I'm extremely grateful for what hockey has brought me and taught me in life. These lessons will never leave me."

Lundqvist appeared in 887 NHL regular-season games, plus another 130 in the playoffs. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie in 2011-12 and he came close to a championship in 2014, leading the Rangers to the Cup Final. He lost postseason series to the Capitals in 2009 and 2011, then eliminated them in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

-- With files from the Associated Press.

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