Even though the NHL is out of the picture, that doesn’t mean Sweden’s men’s hockey team is heading to the Olympics without a Lundqvist. New York Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the 2006 gold and 2014 silver medalist for Sweden, will not be in PyeongChang. However, his twin brother Joel Lundqvist is ready to wear the Tre kronor for his country.
“It’s going to be incredibly fun,” Lundqvist said according to a PyeongChang 2018 media release. “I’ve played a lot in the national team but never made it to the Olympics. It’s the finest thing you can do as an athlete.”
Joel still remembers watching Sweden beat Canada when he was 11 in the gold medal game at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, the last time NHL pros were not on Olympic ice.
“It was definitely one of the strongest memories from my childhood, the final and the gold,” Joel said. “I’ve been carrying that with me through my career.”
Much of Joel Lundqvist’s career has been played in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) for Frolunda HC, where he has served as team captain since 2009. From 2006-09, he did play 134 NHL games for the Dallas Stars.
Back in May of last year, the Lundqvist brothers had an on-ice reunion playing for Sweden at the 2017 World Championships, where they took the top prize, beating Canada in a final game in a shootout.
Now the Olympic-bound Lundqvist will try to keep his family’s winning tradition alive in PyeongChang.
“To be able to be here and fight for that kind of medal is very big, taking part in an Olympic Games,” he said. “But when you get here there’s only one goal that matters – to win. It’s as easy as that.”