Lundqvist's role on the Rangers drastically changed in the 2019-2020 season, and with the Rangers feeling very comfortable with two young and talented netminders, it became obvious that either a buyout or a forced retirement was coming for one of the franchise's most iconic players.
Saying goodbye to a franchise icon always ends up being a very touchy and sensitive subject for fans.
Lundqvist meant the world to the Ranger franchise over the past 15 years. He represented the organization in a first-class manner both on and off the ice.
In net, Lundqvist was consistently a top performer who found ways to raise his level of play to bring out the very best in all of his teammates and himself.
Lundqvist compiled a record of 15-4 in playoff elimination games from 2012 through 2015, and the Rangers always seemed to be in the hunt for a Stanley Cup during his tenure. Lundqvist was the main reason why.
He was a five-time All-Star and won the 2011-2012 Veznia Trophy. In a big game, you wanted Henrik Lundqvist in net.
Unfortunately for Rangers fans, I'm sure they will be haunted by the fact that The King was never able to hold up Lord Stanley's Cup.
The situation is an eerie parallel to Patrick Ewing and his days with the New York Knicks.
Both teams were a contender every year, and the stars – Lundqvist and Ewing - gave their blood and guts to the organization, but the teams were always just a step short from the top of the mountain.
It's incredibly disappointing to think about, but it should not take away from the brilliance that we all watched in net for 15 years.
Lundqvist is a future Hall Of Famer, and one day his jersey will be raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden, never to be worn again.
I selfishly hope Henrik Lundqvist finds himself on a contending team next season so there will still be an outside chance for him to go and win a Stanley Cup. He most certainly deserves it.
Long live The King.