Washington Capitals: Henrik Lundqvist returns to light workouts

Henrik Lundqvist, Washington Capitals (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Henrik Lundqvist, Washington Capitals (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

Henrik Lundqvist is determined to return to the NHL ice, the biggest question is will it be with the Washington Capitals? On Friday, the Caps only undefeated net minder in franchise history published a photo on his Instagram with his daughter with an update on his health in the caption.

Lundqvist missed the entire 2021 season due to open heart surgery. Lundqvist wrote on his Instagram:

"“Midsummer, birthday parties and lots of time with friends and family. Summer is off to a good start. Oh and I’m back with light workouts again Yeees!”"

He signed with the Caps back on Oct. 9th and in December was when the news came that he had a heart condition. After learning that he needed surgery he spent the season on long term injured reserve.

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Lundqvist told the NHL Network back in April: 

"“For a few months, we’d been doing some testing on my heart. I’ve been aware of a heart condition for 15 years. I had a leaky valve and at some point, you have to get it fixed. Over the course of a few months, things changed. The leak got worse and my aorta started to get too big and the pressure in the heart was too high.”"

Doctors performed the open heart surgery on Lundqvist on Jan. 10 in Cleveland. Three days later, he showed that after five hours of surgery it “went really well”. He then took to the streets and started running in mid February before returning to the ice a week later just 47 days after the surgery.

Lundqvist wanted to return to the ice for the playoffs but doctors found inflammation in his heart back in April. He announced that he wasn’t “quite ready” and needed “a few months more of rest and steady recovery” before resuming training.

Lundqvist has since been back to working out and it’s unclear what the future holds. He is ineligible for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft which means he will become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. After turning 39 in March, he could either retire, sign with the Caps or sign with another NHL team. He could even join the Swedish Hockey League.

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Sadly we didn’t get to see Lundqvist mentor Ilya Samsonov or even Vitek Vanecek this past season. It is likely the Caps could lose one of those netminders in the Seattle Expansion Draft. The Caps, once they work out a deal with Ovechkin, should sign Lundqvist to another one year deal.