Jan 25, 2019; Metropolitan Division All-Stars goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) poses for a photo on the red carpet before the 2019 NHL All Star Game skills competition. Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Capitals goaltender Henrik Lundqvist returns to ice after open-heart surgery

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.

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.

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. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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