Rangers goalie likely to return to homeland of Sweden if lockout continues
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/08/2012 -- Like many, Henrik Lundqvist must consider his options for the possible lack of an upcoming season in the NHL. For locked-out players, multiple avenues of employment have opened such as the Swedish premiere league (Elitserien); however, Ludqvist is still seriously weighing his options.
The 30-year-old Vezina Trophy winner will be heading to Sweden due to his wife giving birth to their firstborn in July, but Lundqvist wanted to wait before deciding whether to rejoin his team in Sweden.
"With the decision made, obviously, I might play there, but I still have to think it through," he said when reached by phone Friday evening. "My approach is, I want to be ready. That's my focus. That's why I don't want to rush into anything. That's why I want do what's best."
The Swedish Elite League was also closed due to locked-out players, but terms were agreed to due to recent antitrust rulings made by the Swedish Competition Authority.
Many NHL players have headed off to places like Russia and Switzerland to play in hockey leagues around the world. The Eliserien Is considered one of the top leagues in the world, but there is another enticing option that the league has which may draw Lundqvist away. The league has Joel Lundqvist, Henrik’s twin brother along with plenty of familiar faces if Henrik were to return to his home country.
"Obviously, it's a great option to play with old teammates and my brother," he said. "But again, I don't want to rush into anything."
While many other NHL players pulled the trigger early on a move to European leagues, Lundqvist has decided to stick it out a bit longer to better assess how long the lockout may last.
Lundqvist was stellar in the 2011-12 season, with a .930 save percentage and under two goals per game allowed. Perhaps he is afraid to mess with the streak he created last season. Unfortunately, the goalie is sounding much less sure about a possible future in the NHL this season, stating, "Up until last week, I was optimistic even though things didn't look too great," he said. "But now, I don't know."
"I hope that the league is ready to come to work and negotiate in the next week," Lundqvist said. "I don't see a reason why we should wait until we meet. I think we should meet every day until we get it done, but I guess it's part of their strategy."
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