Henrik Lundqvist will be showered with appreciation when his No. 30 is lifted into the rafters at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, but the love for The King has already been pouring in from all corners of the New York sports world.
The Rangers have been sharing messages of thanks to Lundqvist from other accomplished New York athletes ahead of his number retirement ceremony.
Here is what fellow New York sports icons have had to say to the best goaltender in franchise history, and one of the best of all time.
Chris Kreider, former teammate
“It was an honor to play with you, to practice with you, to go to practice with you. I learned so much from you. I can’t thank you enough For everything you did for our team, for the community, for the city, for me…to be a small, small part of it, it truly is an honor.”
Mika Zibanejad, former teammate
“A lot of memorable games, saves, and a lot of great times on and off the ice. The role model you’ve been for a lot of players, a lot of goalies, and a lot of Swedes like me, I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done for this city, this organization, for the players that you’ve played with.”
Eli Manning, former Giants QB and two-time Super Bowl champion
“Not a better person more deserving to get their number retired than you. What an unbelievable career in New York, as the goalie and the leader, you were the man. Just an honor to play during the same time as you…just to get to watch you, see how you conducted your business, see how good your hair was, it was unbelievable.”
Justin Tuck, former Giants DE and two-time Super Bowl champion
“You had so many [memories], you’re the first jersey I ever wore as a Ranger fan. I just commend you for years of being the best goalie in the league, and all the flowers that people are giving you right now are well deserved.”
Dominic Hasek, former Hall of Famer
“Fifteen seasons in New York with the Rangers, 459 wins is amazing…I enjoyed playing against you and watching you become one of the great goalies in the game…you truly are The King.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1