Before you pull the trigger on me, I think I have an argument here that will convince most, but before I start have to say I LOVE Henrik Lundqvist, he’s one of the best goaltenders this organization has ever had, he’s a personal idol of mine and I would be VERY sad to see him go, but it may be what’s best for the team at this point, so let’s get started.
Lundqvist’s contract is up after this season, and as we all know, his contract is currently worth about $7Million, to re-sign he’ll presumably want at least $8Million a year, now even with the salary cap going up, that poses a SERIOUS problem for general manager Glen Sather because we have to re-sign 11, ELEVEN UFA’s. These names include, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, Taylor Pyatt, Benoit Pouliot, Dominic Moore, Arron Asham, Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman, Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Biron AND Darrol Powe. On top of that, there are five RFA’s to be re-signed, these include Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Del Zotto (although we should probably consider getting rid of him too), Justin Falk, and John Moore. In case you lost count, that’s SIXTEEN players that need to be inked down onto paper after this season and we’re going to need every penny we’ve got, ESPECIALLY the extra few million that Hank is going to want.
This team is not cup ready, and one of our biggest faults is the lack of offensive capability, partially because we don’t have loads of money to spend on offense. So here’s another point, let’s say Hank wants $8Million, getting rid of him will free that up. There are tons of free agents after this season with incredible talent on offense and in net. To start, in net the number one possibility is Martin Brodeur (I’M KIDDING). Seriously, goalies that are up for grabs after this season include Jonas Hiller from Anaheim, Jaroslav Halak or Brian Elliot from St. Louis or even Ray Emery from Philadelphia, all these guys are solid, B level goaltenders for cheap (anywhere between 2-4 Million). Now with the extra money, we can go and bolster the offense, make it cup ready, who am I thinking, you ask? Something depth like, no one too expensive, but at least one goal scorer. Possible forwards to sign are, Alexander Steen, Dave Bolland, Matt Moulson, Todd Bertuzzi, Dustin Penner, Jason Chimera(sort of), Brad Boyes and even Michal Handzus.
That was lengthy, I know but it’s a serious list of goalies and offense that could easily be part of this team if we could get rid of Lundqvist’s extremely heavy contract. But to end, where could we see Lundqvist going? Well a few places, he could go to Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Toronto or Philadelphia. Again, I LOVE Hank, but I’m serious about making this team better and 8 million dollars will do just that.
P.S. Getting rid of Hank, AND buying out Brad Richards will leave us about 13 or so million dollars, can you imagine?