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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Henrik Lundqvist really, really misses playing at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers goalie wrote as much Monday on Twitter. His message, complete with the hashtag #endthelockout, was retweeted more than 1,800 times.
In a column for Wednesday’s New York Post, the Blueshirts star was able to expand on the thought, going from 140 characters or less to more than 500 words as the NHL’s labor impasse drags on.
Lundqvist has “tried to be positive” but has grown “upset” and frustrated with the league’s ongoing lockout.
“I have to admit that I never thought we would be out this long,” Lundqvist said in the column. “I’ve never gone through anything like this before. The first couple of weeks were weird but then when I realized we might be out for a long time, I started to freak out a little bit. It’s hard to explain.”
He added: “You feed off the game. It’s your life. I never imagined it would be this difficult for me not to play and how much I would miss it. I guess you take it for granted that you will always play.”
Labor talks resumed Wednesday, the 88th day of the lockout, with federal mediators at an undisclosed location. It was the first meeting since negotiations broke down last week.
Meanwhile, Lundqvist said hockey fans “have a right” to be “really upset.”
“They deserve better. I really mean that,” he said. “They are so loyal. They spend so much money for tickets and merchandise. … The fans deserve better. The game of hockey deserves better.”
More than 40 percent of the NHL’s planned regular season has been canceled, as the league slashed all games through Dec. 30 on Monday. The All-Star Game and Winter Classic were already cut from the schedule.
It could actually benefit the Rangers if the sides can figure this out to salvage a shortened season. Ailing stars Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin “all would be available for an early-January training camp and start to the season,” the New York Daily News reported.
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