Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/10/12 at 09:24 PM ET
from Barbara Barker of Newsday,
His hair is perfect, his tuxedo is beautiful and his manners are flawless. All of which is proving to be a serious liability to Henrik Lundqvist as he tries to move across the room to a blackjack table at a benefit for the Garden of Dreams Foundation in Midtown Manhattan.
Men, women and cameras block him at every turn. Everyone wants just one quick picture with the Rangers goalkeeper. While many New Yorkers would be hard-pressed to place Lundqvist’s famous-looking face—he does spend his working day wearing a white plastic mask, after all—this is a hockey crowd. And to them, Lundqvist is a rock star. “He is a really good-looking guy,” says one fan in a suit as he pushes his giggling girlfriend at Lundqvist so he can photograph them together.
Eventually a public relations person comes to save The King. Lundqvist makes it over to the blackjack table, only to pose for more pictures. The whole scene seems to underscore one fact about Lundqvist: If he played any other major sport, this would be his everyday life. If he didn’t play a sport in which his entire body was encased in pads and plastic, he wouldn’t be able to walk down the street outside his restaurant in TriBeCa without anyone recognizing him. He would be a Derek Jeter or a Carmelo Anthony or Eli Manning.
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