Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan told reporters last week that Lundqvist, 38, has dealt with the heart condition for most of his career.
“Our trainer, Jason Serbus, did an unbelievable job,” MacLellan said. “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.”
Lundqvist’s surgery will include an aortic valve, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement. He did not disclose when or where the surgery would take place.
“Last 3 weeks my focus has shifted from training camp and the upcoming season to my health and what I can and can’t do,” Lundqvist said Monday on social media. “We all have our mountains to climb. Staying positive here and set on the road to recovery.”
Lundqvist, a five-time all-star, is 459-310-96 with a 2.43 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in 887 NHL games. He is the Rangers’ career leader in wins, save percentage and shutouts (64). He won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender in the 2011-12 season and was a finalist four other times.
“I think we’re grateful, everybody’s grateful that he went down that road, that our medical staffs, that our trainer pushed him down that road and explored it more,” MacLellan said. “I think the result is good that he’s very aware of where his health is at. Everybody’s a little disappointed that we couldn’t see what we could’ve done with him in the lineup.”
On Sunday, the Capitals signed goalie Craig Anderson, 39, to a professional tryout contract, giving him an opportunity to make the team in training camp. Ilya Samsonov, 23, remains in line to be the team’s starter.