(CBSNewYork)- Former New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist took to Twitter Friday to announce his official retirement from hockey after 15 seasons. The 39-year-old netminder gave thanks to the Rangers, New York City and the NHL for embracing him during his career saying that he is a "born Swede but I'll always feel like a New Yorker thanks to you."
The full statement from Lundqvist reads:
For the last 30 years, I have devoted my life to the game of hockey...and now it's time to walk away from the game I love and begin a new chapter. The future excites me. I've met so many amazing people over the years that will help to guide an inspire me in my new journey.
There are many things I love about this 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. I'm extremely grateful for what hockey has brought me and taught me in life. These lessons will never leave me.
Thank you to all the coaches and players that helped me throughout my career.
Thank you to Swedish hockey! From growing up and playing in Sweden to ultimately representing my country on the world stage - these are some of my proudest moments.
Thank you @nyrangers and New York City. I'm a born Swede but I'll always feel like a New Yorker thanks to you.
Thank you @NHL. This league was every thing I dreamed of and more.
Lastly, thank you to the game of hockey and its fans! You gave my life purpose and I have loved every single minute of it!
After Lundqvist's announcement, the Rangers released a statement congratulating him on "an extraordinary career" and announcing they will retire his jersey number.
"It is with mixed emotions that the New York Rangers offer our best wishes and heartfelt gratitude to Henrik Lundqvist on the announcement of his retirement. Henrik's commitment to excellence made him one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game of hockey, and we are so fortunate to have witnessed his greatness firsthand for 15 years. As we congratulate Henrik on an extraordinary career and a lasting legacy of success, charity and character, we are honored to announce that we will retire his number and raise his jersey to the rafters at an upcoming game this season. Henrik is, and always will be, a Ranger."
Lundqvist last played in the 2020 season with the Rangers before signing with the Capitals as a free agent prior to the 2021 season. However, a heart condition kept him from ever taking the ice for Washington.
Across 15 seasons, Lundqvist was a five-time All-Star helping the Rangers to 12 playoff appearances in that time. He won the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's best goalie, in the 2011-12 season when he recorded 39 wins and a 1.97 goals against average. Lundqvist finished in the Top-5 of Vezina voting six other times during his career.
Lundqvist retires as the Rangers all-time leader in wins, save percentage, shutouts, minutes played, and several other statistical categories.
In his international hockey career, Lundqvist backstopped the Swedes to a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics and a silver in 2014 at Sochi. He also helped lead the team to the IIHF World Championship in 2017.
The NHL's official Twitter account sent out a congratulatory message to Lundqvist, saying "All Hail The King."
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