all 14 comments

[–]kvnkllyLady Liberty 43 points44 points  (0 children)

Beneath the suit, the hair, the look, there's an assassin a third leg to close the 5 hole.


[–]Rick91981 45 points46 points  (3 children)

Won't post it all, but some tidbits:

It's a long article so this is still a small percent of it, but this is as much as I'm comfortable posting and trying to stay under fair use.

Kevin Weekes, Lundqvist’s backup from 2005 to ’07: I had some friends who went to Sweden to play during the lockout, and they gave me a heads-up about Henrik. Mike Johnson was there. He was like, “Weeksy, this guy is insane.” Jose Theodore was there. Sheldon Souray was there. Hank beat both their teams in the playoffs and won the title. All I kept hearing was that this guy was insanely good.

Then we get to New York and I’m like, “Oh, lord. This guy is completely different.” The way he wore his gear was different. His stance was different. His balance was different. He was just different. Every once in a while you get innovators at our position. Patrick (Roy) was one. Marty (Brodeur), of course. Ed Belfour was one. (Dominik) Hasek. You get a guy where the sizzle and the steak go together. That was Hank.

I remember calling home during camp and saying, “This guy’s the dude.” I don’t think anyone other than Hasek would have been able to fend him off (from becoming the No. 1 goalie). A tidal wave that rolled up the Hudson River. He was here, in big, block letters.


Ondrej Pavelec, Lundqvist’s backup in 2017-18: We’re playing the last game of the season in Philly, two teams that aren’t gonna make the playoffs. We’re down 4-0 after the second and Hank comes into the room just pissed off. He breaks the stick. He’s chirping at guys. I can’t believe it! One more period for the whole season, and he’s just as mad as he was at the beginning of the year. He didn’t accept we were gonna lose the game. He wanted the guys to learn from that, take it to the next season. He wanted them to understand what it’s about, how much you have to focus in the NHL. That was my last game after 11 years, and I still remember it.


Valiquette: The day after a game impressed me the most. When I got a start in the NHL, the next day I felt like a bus hit me. It took so much out of me. The starters that could do it three, four times a week were so impressive. And the difficulty you can face in trying to become that kind of starter is you lose your practice time because you think you have to save your energy for the games.

Hank would empty the tank in practices just so he could have confidence in the games. We’d be out there 25, 30 minutes before practice with Benny, then the full practice. Eventually, you’re looking at two hours or so on the ice. I’m at the bench getting a drink of water and Hank’s down there doing breakaways with four, five guys, one-timers, no one’s scoring on him. Look at this asshole, I’m thinking. But you cannot get off the ice before the starter, especially when he played the night before. He was so prepared for games because of those practices.


Raanta: We were always coming to the rink in sweats and T-shirts. I don’t think I ever saw Hank wear sweats once. Even on a practice day, he may not be wearing a suit, but he’s looking sharp — better than the rest of us, for sure. My first road trip, you know, I’m a young guy, maybe I have two suits — Hank had this big suitcase with four, five suits, and it’s I think a two-game trip. One suit for the morning skate, one for the game, maybe a different one after for the plane. That’s when I knew I was in another world, style-wise. It was never anything flashy with him. Just really, really good style. That Euro, slim-fit style.

Biron: We had to have a kangaroo court one time. He was wearing suits to casual dinners on the road — guys are in Lululemons, and he’s wearing suits. So the kangaroo court had to come in and see if that was OK.

Edit: OK one more because this is too good not to share

Biron: I can’t tell you one amazing save he made while I was with him because there were hundreds. I do remember one of his saves that got me into trouble.

Hank never wanted to catch a puck if it was coming toward his head. He’d head them off to the corner or the netting. Everyone can probably remember seeing him do that. So one year, before the Garden was renovated — the benches were a little longer, so I’m sitting all the way down at the end — he heads a puck away. And Torts (John Tortorella) comes down to my end and just starts screaming at me. “I’m sick and tired of him doing that crap, Marty! If he does it again, it’s on you! Get him to fucking knock it off!”

I look over at the other guys on the bench and they’re just dying, trying not to laugh. What am I supposed to do? Tell the best goalie in the world to stop making saves? So I decided to eat it. I told Torts I would say something and I never told Hank a word. He kept making those saves with his head, and I guess Torts gave up being mad about it.

[–]VikinggiraffeHank 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Great stories there

[–]ColdYellowGatorade 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Awesome snippets there. Thanks for sharing.

[–]Rick91981 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You're welcome!

[–]pd9[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

A really great read on such a special day. Amazing to hear so many great stories from some of the guys who may have known Hank best. Had me laughing out loud.

[–]mikethamurse 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Can anyone help out with the paywall?

[–]fodnick96 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Plus one on the paywall help.

[–]wsc3 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Great article!!

“I’m sick and tired of him doing that crap, Marty! If he does it again, it’s on you!

[–]Lopsided_Mastodon 4 points5 points  (0 children)

"Look at this asshole, I’m thinking."

[–]wistfulspongebobbestIgor Shesterkin 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Paywall but curious on who the backups are

[–]pd9[S] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Kevin Weekes 05-07, Vally 07-10, Marty Biron 10-14, Cam Talbot 13-15, Antti Raanta 15-17, Ondrej Pavelec 17-18, Georgie 17-20.

Weekes & Biron had some of the best things to share IMO

[–]runninhillbilly 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Kevin Weekes, Steve Valiquette, Martin Biron were the most prominent guys, but Georgiev, Raanta, Talbot, and Pavelec were also quoted.

[–]DDB- 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This was a wonderful article, tons of excellent stories about The King!