Nick Mangold, Henrik Lundqvist
Nick Mangold, Henrik Lundqvist, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Nick Mangold exchanges Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 74 for 30 when he descends upon MSG

Nick Mangold will forever be associated with the green No. 74 jersey he wore with the New York Jets. When he goes to Madison Square Garden, however, he’ll only wear a blue No. 30.

Mangold was one of many New York sports legends that paid tribute to Henrik Lundqvist, the former New York Rangers goaltender who became the 11th Blueshirt to have his jersey permanently commemorated in the MSG rafters.

Mangold referred to Lundqvist as a “true legend” in a tweet posted hours before the retirement ceremony and vowed to only “rock” the goalie’s numerals in his support of the Rangers.

Through 15 seasons in New York (2006-20), Lundqvist became the franchise’s all-time leader in wins (both regular season and playoffs) and shutouts, marks that sit alongside several NHL records, such as the best win tally amongst European-born goalies.

Lundqvist’s Manhattan tenure partly coincided with Mangold’s service in East Rutherford (2006-16). Each had their share of success, with Mangold reaching a pair of AFC title games with the Jets and Lundqvist guiding the Rangers to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

Mangold was a mainstay in the MSG stands during the Rangers’ run of prosperity in the early 2000s. He was often seen representing the No. 30 sweater that MSG raised to its ceiling on Friday night.

The Jets paid tribute to Lundqvist by invoking Mangold on their own account. In a quote reply to Mangold’s accolade, the Jets shared a photo, snapped by renowned New York Post photographer Anthony Causi, of the fearsome offensive lineman yelling at the rival Pittsburgh Penguins’ bench from the good seats at MSG while clad in a Lundqvist jersey during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Had Mangold been among the thousands at MSG paying homage to Lundqvist, a similar reaction might’ve been in store for Friday’s officiating crew.

The Rangers’ tribute to Lundqvist couldn’t end with one more win with the legend in the building, as they fell to the Minnesota Wild by a 3-2 final after a potential tying goal was revoked due to a controversial goaltender interference call.

New York will occupy one of the Jets’ normal slots in their next game, batting the Seattle Kraken on Sunday afternoon at MSG (1 p.m. ET, MSG/NHL Network).

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email: geoffmags90@gmail.com
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