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Henrik Lundqvist's Gameday Routine Keeps the 15-Year NHL Veteran in Top Shape

Evan Romano
Photo credit: JOSHUA JORDAN

From Men's Health

Photo credit: JOSHUA JORDAN

WE DON’T WANT TO go out on too much of a limb here, but Henrik Lundqvist knows a thing or two about how to brave the winter chill. Not only is the 37-year-old in his 15th year as the beloved goaltender of the New York Rangers, not only did he grow up in the bitter cold of Sweden, not only does he do his job on a thick sheet of ice, but the man also just knows how to dress.

When it comes to fashion trends, though, he doesn’t really care anymore. Sure, when he was younger and winter vests and fleece jackets were all the rage, he leaned in a little, but these days he understands what works. “I have my own style. I dress the way I feel comfortable,” he says on a crisp Monday in October. “But it’s fine, you know, and that’s why I love New York. You can dress however you want and you feel good about it.”

Photo credit: JOSHUA JORDAN

Of course, that doesn’t mean Lundqvist is dressing like a schlub, either—due to NHL schedule rigors, he looks sharp five days a week. (And, let’s be real, that’s not the only reason.) This goalie loves to combine formal and casual. “I feel very comfortable wearing suits, but I’m also a jeans guy,” he says. “I love jeans and jackets during the winter. Coats? They’re kind of my go-to.”

Maintaining a star goalie physique in year 15 might seem a challenge for an athlete approaching 40 years old, but Lundqvist has adjusted his daily routine to fit exactly what works for him. Part of what aids his athletic longevity, undoubtably, is his totally calm, level-headed demeanor. As he talks to me about his career, fashion, and New York City, he also sits comfortably as a complete stranger cuts his hair—right around the money maker—to get ready for the photoshoot for this very story. This comfortable nature has surely aided in making him one of the most consistently beloved sports figures in the Big Apple over the last two decades. After coming up an era when the town was owned by Derek Jeter, A-Rod, and Eli Manning, Lundqvist is the only one still playing—and at a high level, too.

Lundqvist recognizes, though, that he's got to take significantly more care of his body at age 37 than he did at age 23—and that's why he sticks with an extremely rigid game day schedule. That schedule includes Spaghetti Bolognese for lunch at 12:00, a snack at 3:30 (almost always a bowl of oatmeal), and then not eating again until 11:00, after gametime.

The Gold Medalist (he was a member of the 2006 Swedish Olympic team in Torino) has seen his body evolve through the years, too: where he used to play at 200 pounds, these days he finds himself at a more lean 180.

Photo credit: JOSHUA JORDAN

"Obviously I can tell the difference on my body between now and 14 years ago," he says. "You recover, and after games you sit on the plane, and when you were younger and get off the plane you didn't feel anything. Now, when you get older, you start to feel a little bit.

Still, though, Lundqvist is a man who knows what he likes—and on off-days, that's cheeseburgers (his favorite comes from 4 Charles Prime Rib in Manhattan's West Village). “I see every day as an opportunity to eat something good,” he says. “But I love cheeseburgers. I eat a lot of cheeseburgers.”

Whether he's on the hunt for the best burger in town, or patrolling the sacred space between the irons for the Rangers, there's one thing for certain: Lundqvist is going to be doing it in style. Maybe he'll say he's not too trendy anymore, but that's OK—whatever he's doing seems to be working out just fine.

Photo credit: JOSHUA JORDAN

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