Caps’ Lundqvist out this year with heart issue

The next chapter of Henrik Lundqvist’s NHL career is on hold because of a heart condition that will prevent him from playing for the Washington Capitals this season.

The longtime New York Rangers goalie posted the news on social media Thursday.

“It breaks my heart (literally) to share this news: I will not be joining the Capitals this upcoming season,” he said. “After many weeks of tests and conversations with specialists around the country, it’s been determined that a heart condition will prevent me from taking the ice. Together, we have decided that the risk of playing before remedying my condition is too high. So I will spend the coming months figuring out the best course of action.”

He went on to say that he was “inspired by the opportunity to play in DC and committed to my game, spending every day at the rink to prepare for the upcoming season.”

Lundqvist, 38, thanked the Capitals and concluded by saying, “I will take the next few weeks to be with my family and I’ll be back to share the next steps.”

This offseason, Lundqvist agreed to a one-year deal with the Capitals worth $1.5 million after a 15-year run with the Rangers. He became an unrestricted free agent in a crowded field of goaltenders.

The Capitals parted ways with longtime goaltender Braden Holtby in free agency, turning to 23-year-old Ilya Samsonov as the primary starter for next season and Lundqvist as the backup.

“The Washington Capitals are supportive of Henrik’s decision to step away from hockey at this time due to his heart condition,” the team said in a statement. “Our players’ health is of the utmost importance, and we stand behind Henrik’s decision. We want to wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”

Lundqvist is a five-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy, winning the award for the NHL’s top goaltender in 2011-12.

Information from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan was used in this report.

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