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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Henrik Lundqvist SvD Perfect Guide Interview


Goalkeeper star Henrik Lundqvist talks about Manhattan life, retirement plans and the dream of winning the Stanley Cup.

The traffic creeps on the narrow streets of Tribeca, in the southwest corner of Manhattan. Trucks stop to get rid of something and the queued drivers get a nice wait. But Henrik Lundqvist is satisfied. The half-hour car journey to Tarrytown, north of Manhattan, where the ice hockey team, New York Rangers, has its training facility, is his chance for so-called self-time.

"Many people think it's impossible to have a car in Manhattan but I drive everywhere. It's in the car I have time to think, go through yesterday's match for example, without a lot of people pulling me.

In addition, Henrik Lundqvist knows that he only needs to get through some crowded Tribeca streets before reaching the West Street Highway and can step on the accelerator pedal.

"It went faster when I was younger, now I'm running much calmer. But I like to know that it can go away if I'm pushing.

Henrik Lundqvist is one of our largest Swedish athletes, and not least one of the world's best ice hockey target guards. The merits speak for themselves. Double SM Gold with Frölunda, Olympic Gold with Three Crowns and 13 seasons as undefeated first goalkeeper in the New York Rangers in the world's toughest hockey league, NHL.

Since 2005, New York is his home. Rangers fans call him King Henrik or Hank. But it could look different. As an ice hockey player, you rarely say anything about where to play. You must always be prepared for the club to change your mind against another player and you can beautifully pack the bags and move to another city. Henrik was not the big talent as young. In the NHL draft in 2000, when clubs can choose which young players they want to contract, Henrik Lundqvist's name went first in the seventh round. Even the twin brother Joel, who plays today in Frölunda, was chosen earlier. Henrik could as well have ended up in Carolina, Nashville or Buffalo.

"Yes, then life had looked quite different. I'm grateful that it became New York, it felt good right from the start. Actually, everything is just a slight chance.

The family Lundqvist, who also consists of wife Therese and daughters Charlise and Juli, lives in an apartment in Tribeca.

"I grew up in Åre and my daughters grow up in Manhattan. There are huge contrasts and incredibly different worlds. It's a challenge to have my family in town, many of my teammates move out to a suburb when they have children, but we're enjoying Manhattan.

The car Henrik Lundqvist chose to get to the training facility is the new Porsche Panamera. In the garage there is also a Range Rover and a Bentley. At the summer house on Onsala south of Gothenburg a Porsche 911 Turbo and a Porsche Cayenne await.

"I like to drive, but really I can do very little about cars, purely technical. It's like when I buy electric guitars, I'm on comfort, sound and feeling.

Henrik Lundqvist is a devoted guitar collector - a Gibson Les Paul Standard from 1958 is the crown jewel itself. The guitars are mostly used when playing with his own rock band The Noise Upstairs, where Henrik also shares the guitar chores with John McEnroe.

After 12 years in New York, Henrik has become one of a sports legend in the city. But playing in the New York Rangers has its backs. The fancies are considered to be the league's most demanding and Henrik Lundqvist has not yet received the so-called sought-after Stanley Cup bucklan. At the time of writing, there are 3-2 in the match series against Montreal Canadiens in the NHL final eightth finals.

"There are many teams that have never won the Stanley Cup, which is perhaps the hardest trophy in the sports world to win. And it's not just Rangers who have demanding fans, check out Knicks (basketball) and Giants (American football). New York residents work hard and want success, and they demand the same of their favorite teams.

In addition, the goalkeeper is extra exposed. Not only because the opponents shoot projectiles at 180 km / h against one, but also because it's easy to blame losses on the goalkeeper.

"Certainly you can become a hero as a goalkeeper too, but you can never hide. I usually say that goalkeeping syllable is an individual sport within a team game.

Henrik Lundqvist has just turned 35. Three years ago, he signed a contract that makes him stay in the club until he is 39. The agreement gives him $ 8.5 million per year and makes him the league's best paid goalkeeper .

"I drive on as long as it's fun and the body is holding. At home we have started talking about where the family will live when the career is over. I can retire directly, but more likely I will continue to work. I think you feel best if you have something that drives one. Throughout my life, my identity has been the hockey player, and I'm prepared for it to be mentally difficult when I'm no longer.

One step in the direction of meaningful employment outside the ice hockey is the charity organization Henrik Lundqvist Foundation, which he runs with his wife Therese. Among other things, they have sponsored the expansion of Ronald McDonald's House in Gothenburg.

"It feels very good to be able to give something back when you have had such a walk in life.

Together with the warrior Matt Abramcyk, he also owns the little bar Tinys & the Bar Upstairs in the hometown of Tribeca.

"It's fun to have a" own "place to slap by sometimes.

Henrik Lundqvist is not only famous for her witty pick glove, but just as much for her style. He has won awards of international greats such as Sport Illustrated, Vanity Fair and Forbes as the best-dressed athlete.

- That's a bit of fun. Between 16 and 23 I had a horrible style. Then I found myself. We always have a suit when traveling with the team, so it often becomes a suit for everyday life, too, mixed with some streetwear. Maybe a pair of jeans and a pair of boots.

Even though he is wearing a mask, Henrik Lundqvist is a well-known face on the streets of Tribeca.

- It varies how often I get recognized. New York City residents often only nods, and tourists from other parts of the world who have no idea who I am. But the Swedes usually recognize me, and they are many, haha.

After living half of his adult life in the city, Henrik Lundqvist can quickly see who is tourist or not.

- New York borne goes fast and looks straight ahead -
The tourists walk slowly and look upward.

By Oskar Hammarkrantz

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