(Reuters) - Washington Capitals goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will miss the 2021 NHL season due to a heart condition, he said on Thursday.
The 38-year-old Swede played 15 seasons with the New York Rangers before signing a one-year contract with the Capitals during the off season.
"It breaks my heart (literally) to share this news: I will not be joining the Capitals this upcoming season," he wrote on Twitter.
"After many weeks of tests and conversations with specialists around the country, it's been determined that a heart condition will prevent me from taking the ice. Together, we have decided that the risk of playing before remedying my condition is too high. So I will spend the coming months figuring out the best course of action.
"For the past two months I've been so inspired by the opportunity to play in DC and committed to my game, spending every day at the rink to prepare for the upcoming season. The news was very difficult to process but after the last test result earlier this week we knew there was only one way to go from here."
Lundqvist thanked the Capitals organization for their support and said he will take a few weeks to be with his family and then "be back to share next steps".
Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy for the NHL's best goalie in 2011-12.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, editing by Ed Osmond)