Swede Lundqvist headlines Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023

Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist, a record-setting goalie while playing for the NHL’s New York Rangers who also helped Sweden to an Olympic gold medal, was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of a seven-member Class of 2023 that was announced on Wednesday.

Lundqvist, who was the face of the National Hockey League’s most valuable franchise during his 15-season run with the team, earned the nod in his first year of eligibility.

While with the Rangers, Lundqvist set 50 franchise records, including the all-time mark for wins, appearances by a goalie, shutouts, playoff appearances and playoff wins.

Known as “The King”, Lundqvist also won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender for the 2011-12 season and was a finalist for the award in four other years.

Lundqvist, who helped Sweden claim Olympic gold in 2006, has also earned more career NHL wins (459) than any other non-North American born goaltender and reached the 400-win mark faster than any other goaltender.

Lundqvist last played in the 2019-20 season and was forced to retire because of a heart ailment.

Also gaining induction in the Player category were former NHL goalies Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon, 1987 first overall draft pick Pierre Turgeon and four-times Olympic champion Caroline Ouellette.

Ken Hitchcock, who was head coach of the Dallas Stars team that won the Stanley Cup in 1999, and the late Pierre Lacroix, who won the Stanley Cup twice as general manager of the Colorado Avalanche, were selected in the Builder category.

The induction celebration for the Class of 2023 is scheduled for Nov. 13 in Toronto.

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