Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, an Olympic champion and 15-year National Hockey League star for the New York Rangers, said Monday he will undergo open-heart surgery.
The 38-year-old netminder signed a one-year free agent deal with Washington in October but said earlier this month he would miss the upcoming NHL season due to a heart condition.
"Last three weeks my focus has shifted from training camp and the upcoming season to my health and what I can and can't do," Lundqvist tweeted.
"Scheduled for an open-heart surgery now -- aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement to be more exact.
"We all have our mountains to climb. Staying positive here and set on the road to recovery."
Lundqvist said he was hoping to help the Capitals win the Stanley Cup as they did in 2018 after failing to capture the title with the Rangers.
"A routine physical that was an early physical turned into, 'Well, we need to explore further what's going on with you,'" Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said last week.
"Our doctors, the cardiologists, the specialists, it kept getting deeper and deeper. As we went that far, Henrik got a lot more knowledge of what his situation is and where it's going and what his risk levels are... and his risk level is not acceptable for him to continue to play."
The Rangers, who selected Lundqvist in the 2000 NHL Draft, bought out his contract in September after the emergence of goalies Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev made "King Henrik" expendable.
Lundqvist made his only Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2014, when the Rangers lost to Los Angeles four games to one.
Lundqvist ranks sixth on the NHL all-time wins list and seventh in career saves with 23,509. He won the 2012 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie and was a finalist four other times. But last season, he won only 10 games in 26 starts.