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Rangers' Lundqvist was iffy in first talk with Sather

by Dan Rosen

TORONTO -- With Henrik Lundqvist closing in on the 10-year anniversary of his NHL debut (Oct. 8, 2005), it's only natural for the New York Rangers star goalie to take some trips down memory lane, reflecting on key moments in his career, those that led him to where he is now.

Lundqvist did that during the NHL's annual Player Media Tour last week when he was asked to describe what kind of impact Rangers president Glen Sather has had on him and his career.

"I still remember I met him in Gothenburg after a game my last year there [with Frolunda] and he took me out for dinner," Lundqvist told "He didn't say much during the dinner, he had a cigar in his mouth, and finally he turns, looks at me, and says, 'Are you ready for New York?'

"That question kind of just stayed with me that entire year, that summer," Lundqvist continued. "I kind of asked it of myself, 'Am I ready for this?' It's a moment I will always remember."

What did Lundqvist say?

"I think so," Lundqvist said. "It was an honest Swedish answer. Afterwards, I was saying to myself, 'Why did I say I think so? Of course. Of course should have been my answer.'"

Lundqvist was ready. That much is obvious now considering he has won the Vezina Trophy, taken the Rangers to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, helped them win the Presidents' Trophy last season, and holds numerous club goaltending records, including most wins (339), shutouts (55), and playoff wins (54).

He arrived in New York without much fanfare, but in 10 years he has built, well, an empire. It's only fitting to use that word because of his nickname, "The King," one that has stuck with Lundqvist even though he says it has more to do with his name, Henrik, being a royal name, than it does for him being New York royalty himself.

"If my name was Anders, I don't think I would be King Anders, but Henrik is an old royal name and that's how it started," Lundqvist said. "It's just kind of funny when people shout it out in the street when I'm walking by. New Yorkers are very cool like that."


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