The sports world remains paused indefinitely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and New York Rangers like Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko have returned home, and Henrik Lundqvist is making plans to return to Sweden according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
Lundqvist, Kakko, and Zibanejad are three of the nine players on the roster from outside North America. The remaining list includes Pavel Buchnevich (Russia), Filip Chytil (Czech Republic), Jesper Fast (Sweden), Artemiy Panarin (Russia), Alexandar Georgiev (born in Bulgaria grew up in Russia), and Igor Shesterkin (Russia).
If the season is going to be paused longer than expected, it would make perfect sense if players wanted to return to their offseason homes to hunker down. There’s also the ever changing nature of potential travel bans and border closings, so getting home sooner rather than later could be a case of being better safe than sorry.
Recently Zibanejad spent the All-Star break in Sweden, and Kakko returned home to Finland to see his family given it is his first season away from home. Lundqvist lives in Sweden during the offseason, and I don’t blame him for wanting to head home.
Thus far there hasn’t been any word regarding any other players leaving North America in the interim while the season remains indefinitely paused, but it appears that Buchnevich and Shesterkin have been making themselves at home at Artemiy Panarin’s house.
That’s pretty much all the information we have for now, and we hope that you, your family, the rest of the Rangers’ roster, coaching staff, front office, arena workers, and so on remain safe during this time.