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Lightning Round: Two jersey retirement ceremonies and other news around the league

The Syracuse Crunch are preparing to celebrate Black History Month

2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game - Metropolitan v Atlantic Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Friday night was a pretty special night for two NHL franchises as the New York Rangers retired number 30 in honor of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, while the Dallas Stars retired number 56 after defenceman Sergei Zubov.

The first ceremony of the night was in New York, where a full Madison Square Garden welcomed the legendary Swedish goaltender with a standing ovation.

Henrik Lundqvist officially retired last summer after having some serious heart issues, which required open-heart surgery earlier that year. Lundqvist played in 887 regular season games with the Rangers, recording 459 wins and 64 shutouts. He won a Vezina Trophy after the 2011-2012 regular season and reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Rangers in 2014. Since last October, Lundqvist has worked with MSG Network as a studio analyst. Here’s a piece about him by our colleagues at Blue Shirt Banter:

The his final home game and his eventual formal exit from the team felt out of place and incomplete considering his tenure to the team, and overall meaning to the franchise. The decision to buy out Lundqvist didn’t come overnight, and had the pandemic not resulted in an early end of the 2019-20 regular season, I’d like to believe that there’s a good chance his final game as a Ranger would have been an special affair. His final victory at MSG took place on December 27, 2019, an evening in which he stopped 39 of 42 vs. the Carolina Hurricanes.

Another hero of the night, Sergei Zubov waited for his jersey retirement ceremony a little bit longer. He played his last game in the NHL during the 2008-09 season, spending one season after in the KHL. Zubov played in total 1068 games in the NHL, spending most of them in the Dallas Stars jersey — during 12 seasons with them he played in 839 regular season games, scoring 111 goals and 438 assists, which remains the best result for defenceman in the Dallas Stars history. He won two Stanley Cups — in 1994 with the New York Rangers and in 1999 with the Dallas Stars.

Lightning Links

The Syracuse Crunch will be celebrating Black History Month during February by supporting local predominately Black nonprofit organizations. The team will also celebrate their alumni Mathieu Joseph, Daniel Walcott and Gemel Smith, who made history last spring as the first ever all-Black starting forward line in the NHL with a special t-shirt.

The Crunch lost to the Rochester Americans 1-2 on Friday night. Alex Green scored the only goal for Syracuse, Amir Miftakhov was the third star of the night after making 20 stops in this game.

Hockey News

The full results of previous gameday.

The Colorado Avalanche’ Nathan MacKinnon will miss the next three games due to facial fracture and a concussion.

The New York Rangers’ Adam Fox is also expected to miss three games due to upper body injury.

The PHF Players Association has parted ways with Alex Sinatra three weeks after hiring her as the PA’s Executive Director.

The Colorado Avalanche are reportedly interested in acquiring Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux.