Henrik Lundqvist has a gold medal. He’s a superstar goalie playing in the glow of the spotlight that comes in Madison Square Garden. King Henrik has been seen playing guitar in a band with John McEnroe and oh yeah, he’s also a pretty … healthy looking fella (cough). Yup, the stupendous Swede has done a lot, but now add “adorn the cover of the world’s most famous sports magazine” to his resume:
Let’s play a little round of good news/bad news, then:
Good news: It’s a really, really really cool cover. (Seriously, if you’re a hockey fan and a newstand, you’ve gotta scoop that up right?)
Bad news: He’s wearing a mask and not a suit.
Good news: Hockey gets a moment to shine on Sports Illustrated’s cover, which is still a sign that you’ve “made it” even as the magazine industry struggles.
Bad news: The Sports Illustrated “cover jinx” probably isn’t as spooky as the “Madden” one is, but with Lundqvist never having much luck in the playoffs and hurting his arm a bit in the last week of the season, well … it’s a worry to the more neurotic ones out there.
Either way, if you ask me, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Just a beautiful cover. It also might work into the fun (if unfair) go-to narrative of comparing this year’s Rangers to the Mark Messier-powered, 1993-94 model. (Indulge in that comparison here.)
Check out video behind the cover shoot at Sports Illustrated’s Web site while soaking in a rather interesting bit of info on the last few Rangers who were used to sell magazines before:
– Wayne Gretzky – April 26, 1999
– Mark Messier & Wayne Gretzky – October 7, 1996
– Mark Messier – June 13, 1994
– Pete Stemkowski – May 6, 1974
– Ed Giacomin – March 2, 1970
– Andy Bathgate – January 12, 1959
Of course, optimistic Rangers fans are probably fighting themselves not to ask this: will the Rangers pull out another SI cover around late-June when the Stanley Cup gets handed out? (Boy, now we’re really starting to get into “jinx” territory …)