Someone once said that Henrik Lundqvist is the man that all women want to be with and all the men want to be friends with. Although it is a bit exaggerated it can be said that few people ever get to hear something like that said about themselves.
And do you think that we in the Swedish media harping on Henke and pays tribute to him boundless, then you should know that where he hailed the most is the usually ruthless and nasty tabloid New York Post, which regularly have nice headlines for King Henry.
Everyone knows how it is in New York:
Have succeeded there, then you succeed everywhere.
And Henrik Lundqvist lives in Tribeca, nextdoor with Robert De Niro - but Lundqvist Sweden forever.
Maybe silly to pay tribute to someone with feet on the ground, but given his status, so it is remarkable, as I say spontaneously when we sit in his matte black Bentley Continental GTC Supersports - a luxury sports car for nearly two million - on the way south Manhattan on a sunny spring day.
Earlier Lundqvist family lived on the Upper West Side, but now is home completely renovated floor of a house in fashionable and star-studded Tribeca neighborhood of lower Manhattan.
- You are the super star of the New York Rangers, live in a great apartment in Manhattan and cruising around town in a Bentley. Many people in your situation would float away like hell, but you do not do it - why not?
As always, he answers thoughtfully and it is revealing.
- Are you playing at this level you will be quickly taken down on the earth. Matches are tough. I can have some good games in a row, then everything feels great and then a bad game and I have to work even harder. You get nothing for free. You can always get better, there are always things I can improve.
He stops for a moment, knobs become accustomed through the chaotic traffic, the engine sound is soothing, it feels like we have a nice break from the rush and bustle outside.
- There will be new guys all the time who want to take my place. I know the competition all the time.
He acknowledges that the strong momentum is precisely the concern that one day this life over. No is the first goalkeeper whole life. Sooner or later, the King forced out.
Henry celebrates his parents, his brother Joel, Rangers goalie coach Benoit Allaire and others who supported him in his career, saying "obviously will be influenced by his environment" and believe that they made him feel a gratitude for their situation. This is something that few professional athletes reflects on in his career.
Most people think of when they put in, but it does not apply to Henry.
- I have worked very, very hard for this. Since I have been on a roll as well, it must have. As to get to the right team at the right time. It could have happened entirely different things in my career, it had been able to bounce a completely different path. And when you realize all this then raises a humility about the situation. I really feel a gratitude. Many players work hard, many are very good - but not all have been given the same chance as me.
This insight and awareness is a big reason that Henrik Lundqvist continues to be one of the world's best goalkeepers and constantly improves the details in his game - in close cooperation with his constant companion Benoit Allaire, who had been his goalie coach all these years in the NHL.
- He has been extremely important for my development. He is so incredibly professional in the preparation, accuracy in how he works with details - yes, in everything he does. There is a plan in everything we do. Every day.
- What I appreciate most is his personality. He is always very positive. He lifts me up training days when I have been disappointed in anything and have it tough. He spreads joy. It's nice to come to the training and feel how positive he is. All coaches are not so.
I tell Henke I talked to Alliare, which was clear by saying that he does not do interviews, that it is the head coach who will answer all questions.
- But then he talked to yet, he could hardly stop talking about you. He likes you, I say.
- We have worked together for eleven years. We have become friends. We have our routines. As morning warming are match days, then we check always the video from the previous game - and it's the most focus on good things, we look at what has been good for me to get a positive feeling.
- Have you ever been at loggerheads?
- Never. Not once.
We are all older. We mature and evolve (hopefully). Even if a part is always the same. Some features available from the start and does not change significantly with time. For better or worse.
In Henrik Lundqvist's case, it is good that he is just the same competitor in the day that 34-year-old as he was as a junior in Frölunda.
The coaches Janne Karlsson, who was in Frolunda then, and Alain Vigneault, the Rangers now, have had to learn the same stubborn Win.
And they both like Henry as much.
Like when Boston's former thugs Brad Marchand other year accused Henke for filming on the ice.
Vigneault went to emotional counterattack and thundered off properly:
- Those comments about Henrik was extremely inappropriate. In this way, like "Hank" occur, both on and off the ice, and the good example he set, who would you rather have as a son - Henrik Lundqvist and Brad Marchand?
Janne Karlsson is now coach of Denmark. He and Henry were together from the youth team to the first team in Frölunda and were also together in the national team, including in Turin in 2006.
Karlsson answer obviously Lundqvist on Vigneaults question.
- I remember when Henrik and Joel came to Gothenburg and would move in together in Radek Hamrs old apartment. They barely looked around, but directly they arrived, where they picked up a Frolunda flag and hung on the wall in the living room. They were two single-minded guys who knew what they wanted,
Karlsson celebrates Joel and Henrik how they constantly competed - while aware of the job that was required of them.
- Some young players can skip a few steps, thinking that the first is the TV the puck and then it's the NHL. But it's probably a few steps in between. Henrik and Joel were very aware. It did not matter if it was a Monday workout at the high school or hockey match of the season in the Championship playoffs. They both had the same focus and competitive spirit.
I do not ask Henry what he thought then. It was the same as he thinks now.
- You get nothing for free.
- You can always get better, there are always things I can improve.
- There will be new guys all the time who want to take my place. I know the competition all the time.
Janne Karlsson also remember how it was when Henrik and Joel did not end up on the same team in training.
- When they were not very happy in each other. It was fair play. But there was no one who wanted to give himself ...
And after losses remained Karlsson away.
- When Henry could be angry, I wonder.
- Yes, God knows. It's been a few goalie sticks. Then it was no use talking to him until the day after, says Karlsson.
One who recognize themselves very well in that statement is Alain Vigneault.
- I think you have become calmer after losses, I say.
- Do you think?
- Yes actually. You will not be as angry anymore, right?
- Yes, I am as angry, but I will not let it remain as long.
- It is not noticed as much.
- No, not always, he says, and continues:
- Then it helps of course not. When it just burns to - it will be like nothing better of it.
Henrik Lundqvist can still be furious and sometimes teammates Rangers are heavily name-calling.
- I love to compete. Every day. Every workout, and all matches!
- After eleven years in the NHL, I feel as great craving to get better and to win.
Henrik Lundqvist laugh at me, my colleagues and all the others who started harping on his age, that his time to win the Stanley Cup will soon be over, and points out that he has actually been filled for 34 years.
As if it would be something to worry about.
Jaromir Jagr is still top class 44-year-old Florida Panthers and he has no plans to quit. Lundqvist scoff at age fixation and glances more on Jagr.
For when I bit fateful and sad old man (yes, I admit it) says: "Have you thought about that one day it will end?" - Then I get a quick response.
- It will be interesting to see how it feels. Now I am 34 years old and just feel great joy of hockey.
Since I am almost ashamed of my questions about age, I pay tribute to Jagr and then becomes Henry in a very happy mood.
- You see. He plays on. And he is 44 years old. But to do it you have to really love the sport, because it requires so much of you. But I've played with Jagr in the Rangers and I know how much he loves the sport.
- Want to stay on as long as Jagr?
- I do not know. I want to believe that I will like to play so long and find it as fun. I hope so. It is not impossible. But the older you get, the more people start looking at you as if it's time to quit. Then you have to prove you still can.
He puts it in a way that he looks forward to proving year after year that he still holds, as Jagr, it is as if the human race Lundqvist sees a challenge in just that.
Defying time and win the match against the years go by.
The art of managing a life as an elite athlete is also an ability to relax when needed, and clear contrasts between a packed Madison Square Garden and Bentleyns beautiful engine sounds a nice afternoon in the sun, on the way home to the floor in Tribeca to play with daughters Charlise, four years, and in Juli, a year.
Home can not Henry be busy with the next game, or fretting over mistakes and the family he is not a king and although the eldest daughter Charlise happy to follow at home matches as she cares so much about whether Dad on the ice or the fans who often yells: "HEEEN-rich, HEEEN-CIC" ...
- She likes to go to matches, but mostly because there are sweets there.
At home with his wife Therese and their daughters Charlise and Juli is Henrik husband and father.
- You must have a tremendous ability to switch off sometimes, I say.
- Both. I've gotten better at it over the years. When I play and when I'm preparing for the match, I do as I always have done, I have my routines. But it's not that I snap my fingers and then I'm there. I get to work with it. Each match. Every day. You have to focus. Over and over again.
He praises his wife Therese who has been on the whole trip in New York.
- She has meant a lot for me with the support I have received. It is she who keeps the pieces in place, you could say, ha ha.
- And she's got to say to you at cracking down sometimes, you have told me earlier, that when you have been grumpy for losses and you met people.
- Yes, she has been doing. She does not see me as a hockey player. She sees the person Henrik.
- No King Henry?
- Absolutely not. We really have a two-way communication, especially since we had children. And then we got the girls, I have also become better at focusing on family life and on coming out of my bubble hockey.
I point out that it is part of his professional life to get away from everything else to focus so lot's of takes to make it almost unreasonably difficult job he has.
- There is a special job. But Therese see how I feel and what I go through. Then I was more intense as a person when I was younger, I've learned to distance myself more even when it does not go as I please.
Therese and Henry met in 1998 and married in 2011. She has been through all the years preferred a life as far as possible outside the public view, while she and Henry together founded an organization for charity, where Therese put a lot of jobs and Henrik Lundqvist Foundation has mainly collected money for women and children in need of care and education and made efforts in the US, Sweden and the Dominican Republic.
During the All-Star break in February Lundqvist family went to Florida for a moment of total relaxation with its closest.
- Nice to just disconnect hockey sometimes?
- Yes, there is no doubt about it. The season is long and there is much matches. So you get a break and just get away from everything, it's very nice. Then it will be also another passion and energy when you come back.
We're not talking about obvious that his dream of winning the Stanley Cup and Three Kronros goal to win gold at the World Cup in Toronto this fall.
I'm more curious if he can enjoy the moment. If he can find back to the childish glee he felt when he started playing hockey at home on Lake Åre.
- Yes I can. In connection with the training I often stay with some guys and just run Neutrals. When we play, while being competitive instinct.
- On the games then?
- No, then it is not that feeling. Then it seriously.
FACTS Henrik Lundqvist
Full name: Bjorn Henrik Lundqvist
Born: March 2, 1982 in Åre.
Clubs in career: Järpens IF, Rogle, Mölndal, Frölunda, the New York Rangers.
Drafted: He was first elected as the 205th player in the draft in 2000 in Calgary and some of those who were chosen before Henke was Lars Jonsson, Martin Samuelsson, Teemu Laine, Jonas Nordquist, Joel Lundqvist (as 68: a Dallas), Jonas Rönnqvist, Stefan life and Kristofer Ottosson.
Family: Married to Therese, the couple have two daughters: Charlise, four years, and Juli, a year.
Lives: Apartment in Tribeca in Manhattan apartment in Gothenburg
Merits: Two national championships, Olympic gold, 74 caps, two World Championship silver Stanley Cup finalist, guldpucken, Vezina Trophy (price NHL's best goalie), he has the most wins and the highest number of zeros through the ages in New York Rangers club history.