Some exciting news broke out of New York today, as it was reported this morning that Henrik Lundqvist agreed to a seven-year, $8.5 million per year contract extension with the Rangers. His cap hit will come into effect next season, and will become the highest among the NHL’s current and active goaltenders.
To break the news, Glen Sather, Alain Vigneault, owner James Dolan, and Lundqvist himself, came out to speak with the media. Dolan expressing his happiness stated, “He’s proven himself to be a world-class goaltender, and I expect him to continue to play at the highest level as well into the future,” Dolan said, looking at Lundqvist. Right?”
“Right,” Lundqvist said smiling.
Considering the immensity that the Rangers have put into Henrik, Sather told Lundqvist, “It’s up to you Henry. Just carry us on your shoulders.”
This contract will put Lundqvist one million dollars shy of Alex Ovechkin‘s current $9.5 million per year. When the contract expires, Lundqvist will be 39 years old.
“I really want to win the Cup here in New York. It’s my biggest goal and my biggest dream. Secondly, I want to be a Ranger for life … To picture myself anywhere else was just wrong and was never an option. I know there was some speculation over the summer, but – from the heart – it was never an option to leave this club.”
It is very clear that Henrik loves it here in New York and he said it himself that going anywhere else wasn’t an option for the star goaltender.
His performance this season has been sub-par for his standards however, his record is 8-11-0 and he’s carrying a .917 save percentage and a 2.51 GAA. These numbers could be because of the contract negotiations that have been on his mind.
Well, now that these talks are over and done with, he can now focus on one thing and one thing only, hockey. Lundqvist in recent days and weeks has been overshadowed by the play of rookie goaltender Cam Talbot. After surrendering four goals to the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night, everybody is expecting Lundqvist to get the nod in net tomorrow against the Buffalo Sabres.
“I think as you can tell today, this was a relief for Hank to finally know for sure that he’s going to be with the New York Rangers for the rest of his career,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “So I think this is going to be very positive for this whole team.”
The money given to Henrik is a generous gesture by the Rangers, considering that this deal makes them even tighter to the cap, especially with pending free agents coming up in the form of Ryan Callahan, Derick Brassard, and others.