Yesterday I received the following email from Matt, a fan who considers Henrik to be his hero. Matt was lucky enough to randomly meet Henrik on the streets of Manhattan. He sent me the above picture and this email explaining that he didn't get a chance to thank Henrik for helping his family get through a tough situation. Here is his story, hopefully Henrik will get to see it somehow.
I'm a good friend of of Mike Richter, and he will always be my mentor as he is the man who introduced me to the game that changed my life forever. Being a child of an immigrant father, from Costa Rica, and an immigrant mother, from Trinidad and Tobago, I would have never thought that hockey would have such a tremendous impact on my life. When Henrik came to the big apple back in 2005, the season following the much dreaded lockout, I immediately became a fan. I was only 9 at the time, and watching the way Henrik carried himself on and off the ice; he immediately became my biggest idol and inspiration. My father's superintendent job is the reason why I met and became good friends with the Richter family. My fathers job is the reason why I had the privilege of growing up on the Upper West side of manhattan, and the ultimate reason as to why I'm playing hockey. Now a few years later, during my senior year of high school, I finally met my hero, Henrik Lundqvist! Although he doesn't know it, Henrik's presence and dominance in the garden helped my father survive a stroke he suddenly suffered last Spring. My dad, along with the rest of the family was going through a very tough time, yet watching Henrik tend the pipes for the rangers, even from his hospital bed, always puts a smile on his face! I had to withdraw from this hockey season as financially, after my father's stroke, we could not afford a junior hockey season, ending my dreams of playing college hockey, but having the NHL back means Henrik will be leading the blue shirts this season, and that is what fills the hole in my heart from the sudden absence of the sport in my life. Meeting Henrik today revived my dream, as it reminded me how much I love the sport. I didn't get to tell him all this, but thanks Henrik for being my biggest inspiration, my idol, and my hero. And thanks for helping my father and my family make it through a tough time. You really are a hero. Best of luck this season Hank!
Beacon high school '13
Boston University '17