NEW YORK. No one has suffered more during the lockout, no one has been more frustrated at not being able to play hockey.
But when the conflict is finally over, there was no one who is happier than Henrik Lundqvist.
- This was a difficult process to go through and it feels really nice that it's over. Now I just want to forget the past and focus on playing hockey again, says the New York Rangers goalie star to Sportbladet.
All in some way touched by the 113 days long lockout in the NHL, of course, relieved and happy to finally run out.
But the question is really about someone's happiness can be measured by the Henrik Lundqvist experienced when he was early yesterday morning got up with early risers daughter Charlise and on his mobile phone found the message from the tray to a new collective agreement was clear.
- It was not a bad news to get, he says lightly chuckle.
There we have winter understatement.
Verging on depression
The 30-year-old Vezina Trophy winner has been touched on outright depression during an autumn without hockey.
- Yes, it's been a frustrating process to go through, especially as it so often thought that a solution was close and it still does not become something, he says, and continues:
- Now when you see what had become of the deal, I also think it feels very unnecessary conflict was so long. We should have been able to reach this agreement before. But I'm tired of pointing fingers and just want to focus on playing hockey again. It will be incredibly fun.
But perhaps not entirely Giant easily at once. "King Henry" has not played a real game since May.
- No, it will be a challenge to get in shape so quickly. Apart from some sporadic trainings with Frölunda I have not even trained with a team since the spring, only two shooters, he points out.
Belongs to favorites
He was playing though an exhibition game in Atlantic City in november - and shocked everyone.
- Well, then, it felt rude good. But it should probably not make too much up, there are special circumstances in these kinds of games. It will take a while to find timing and tempo, it's just.
The question is then what will become of the season. "Lunkans" Rangers were among the favorites in the fall, but for a short basic series that start in mid-January, nobody knows what can happen.
- It is a little difficult to assess, the goalkeeper is the star.
- Those who have played in the autumn may benefit from it, but on the other pumps the adrenaline of us who have not. But I try not to think so much about it, I just want to focus on running now.
Yes, no matter what's Henrik Lundqvist's nightmare over.
It becomes NHL season - despite everything.