Washington Capitals goaltender Henrik Lundqvist shocked the hockey community ahead of the Christmas holiday when he announced that he would miss the 2020-21 NHL season due to the discovery of a heart condition that ultimately required him to undergo open-heart surgery.
The veteran who turns 39 years old on March 2 shared via social media on Tuesday that he has returned to the ice.
The best type of workday! pic.twitter.com/2tWlS1iOmO— Henrik Lundqvist (@hlundqvist35) February 23, 2021
Lundqvist spent the previous 15 seasons with the New York Rangers before signing with the Capitals in October. As Justin Tasch noted for the New York Post, Chris Kreider of the Rangers reacted to Lundqvist's latest video while speaking with reporters.
"I think, ‘Thank God, some good news,'" Kreider said. "Nothing could warm your heart more than seeing that. I mean, open-heart surgery how long ago, and he’s already feeling better, he’s already active. You’d expect nothing less from Hank. He’s not the kind of guy who is going to sit on his hands and you know he’s got to recover actively, I guess. He’s a guy who always needs to move.
"But yeah, that’s some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time and we’re thrilled for him. Hopefully, he’s got a lot of hockey left in him and he keeps on progressing and leaves this in his rearview mirror."
Lundqvist has been active on social media through his recovery.
Today is a good day.— Henrik Lundqvist (@hlundqvist35) February 17, 2021
The checkup with the doctor this morning reaffirmed what I’ve been feeling last few weeks, everything looking great. It energized me so much I had to go out for a run (FYI, I’m not a runner)
Today is a good day! #Stepbystep pic.twitter.com/AXrZzMDbts
However, it remains unfair to speculate on his potential return to an NHL roster, particularly as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country. It's worth noting that he didn't retire, though, and that it looks as if he's anxious to again face live shots during a game.