Glen Sather finally reached into his pocket, found his planner and noticed Johan Holmqvist`s name on the book. Holmqvist posted a 26 win season for the Wolf Pack last year and added one shutout for the ever changing face of the Hartford Wolf Pack…however he struggled during the playoffs posting a less than exciting 1-2 record with a goals against of 4.41. Holmqvist had his 2nd cup of coffee with the Rangers last season appearing in relief for 9 minutes stopping 2 shots versus Toronto. Holmqvist has appeared in 3 NHL contests yet to win a game and posting a Terry Kleisinger like 4.69 gaa.
The Swedish native has won 45 regular season contests in Hartford and is their no.1 netminder coming into the 2002-03 season. The terms of the deal with the Rangers are not known.
With Mike Richter back in the fold and Dan Blackburn about to gradually take the reigns as no.1, Holmqvist will likely see little ice time this year in the NHL with the Rangers barring an injury to Blackburn and or Richter. What Holmqvist gives the Rangers is a now veteran prospect AHL veteran who is still young enough and hungry enough to want “in” to the Rangers, otherwise he could have taken any of the offers to return to Sweden. Holmqvist will anchor a rebuilding Rangers Hartford affiliate. 2002-03 ios a very important season for the swede as in his shadow are fellow Swedes Henrik Lundqvist and Johan Asplund who are close to making the jump to the North American continent.