Henrik Lundqvist retirement rumors abound as offseason begins

All eyes are on Henrik Lundqvist this offseason. There is a legitimate possibility that he is not with the Rangers next season. A buyout is a possibility, but a Henrik Lundqvist retirement is not out of the realm of possibility. Larry Brooks had some thoughts on Lundqvist retiring from the NHL and joining brother Joel in Sweden with Frolunda.

There is a non-zero chance we see a Henrik Lundqvist retirement. His salary is “only” $5.5 million on his $8.5 million cap hit. He’s now very clearly the backup to Igor Shesterkin. Alex Georgiev’s situation doesn’t really play a role here, since it’s clear this is Shesterkin’s team going forward. Will Lundqvist want to be the backup? For a discounted price?

Therein lies the biggest question. If Lundqvist is ok with one last run as the backup, mentoring his young padewan learner, then he’s likely to be with the Rangers next season. If he still thinks he has the gas in the tank to be a starter, then Frolunda may be the only option.

A trade is highly unlikely, as his cap hit in a flat cap post COVID era is simply unmovable. A buyout doesn’t help the Rangers that much, bringing their dead cap space close to $20 million in a flat cap season. The only scenario is either a 50% salary retention trade (not likely) or retirement from the NHL.

If a Henrik Lundqvist retirement is on the horizon, then it represents an anti-climactic end to his Rangers career. No home-ice farewell, no Stanley Cup, no standing ovation from the crowd, and no final “HEN-RIK” chant from the fans. Just a retirement announcement and a jersey retirement ceremony in the near future.

That isn’t the way for him to go out. But sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want.

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  • Life aint easy but retirement would be the best thing for the team. It would be a heroic move and a gift to the fans that would permanently elevate his standing in Ranger lore. You would think the Rangers would find a way for him to make the money back and keep him around as an ambassador or broadcaster. It would be the stuff of a legionary, benevolent king.

    • Athletes hate the word retirement. Hank is an extremely proud and prideful athlete and person, and I don’t think that he will retire. Will Hank be happy backing up Igor? No, but I’m hedging he stays with Staal and Smith both out..Unless he agrees on a trade where a contending team comes calling for him, but I think Hank stays.

  • I disagree that Georgiev’s situation doesn’t enter into it. Not only is the King, at best, Shesty’s back-up but the issue of Georgiev in the running for back-up, like last season, has to be a consideration. It makes hanging on for another year even more unpleasant for Hank.

    And as indicated there is no market for Henrik to go somewhere else to try to win the Cup.

    I think the retirement event at MSG would be amazing, even it if occurs after the announcement instead of Hank still being in uniform. The King is, IMHO, the greatest Ranger ever – and no one else is a close 2nd. HIs connection to the fans is unparalleled. More of a reason for him to go out in the best interests of both him and the team. Hank doesn’t need or is wired to hang on for another 5.5 million in an unpleasant situation. He will be Ranger royalty forever.

  • We need to be a little realistic and stop thinking of just is best for the team. Hank is the posterboy for the NY Rangers. Should he walk away from $8.5M? Would you? We need to provide him with a strategy to ease him out, provide him a high-level position within the organization and get him an elongated payday. Maybe NYR ambassador for 4 years at $3M per would do it.

  • Point of information: If Lundqvist retires, the Rangers will have a $3M cap hit next year, the difference between $8.5M and $5.5M.

  • It is rather difficult to know the workings of Hank’s mind at the moment. I guess we really will have to wait and see. But it appears certain that Igor is the team’s starting goalie. I don’t know whether or not Hank would be able to tolerate a backup’s role for an entire season. My gut feeling is that he would not be able to do it, but that is speculation.

    A retirement would still have some cap hit, but at a lowered amount. It would help the team. I don’t believe that Hank being around to mentor Igor is key. Benny is there. That isn’t to say that Hank couldn’t help, but it isn’t a pressing need. Whatever he chooses to do, I hope that he is at peace with it.

  • Love Hank, hate Sather even more for not being smart enough to surround him with the necessary pieces to win it all. With that being said, it is time to move on. Hank is very prideful…but he is third string…he cannot say he wasn’t given one last shot….he played two games…the team again came up short…some of it his fault…most of it not.

    I would not blame him if he wanted his 5.5mm…not sure a lot of people walk away from that…but as his countryman once did for the Rangers…Hank needs to retire!

    He will always go down as a legend…cup or not.

  • All good things must come to an end, and Hank will make the decision as to when he wants to go.

    There is nothing like watching a hero deteriorate right in front of your eyes, and I hope Hank reconsiders his image. Case in point, I grew up watching Willie Mays roam around the Polo Grounds center field, and was in aw of his glove, bat, and legs. The man was great, this coming from an old Brooklyn Dodger fan. The last image that’s imprinted in my mind is of Willie playing in the 73 world series, sad as hell. I wish I’d never seen that series, and remember him as the say hay kid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s Hanks call, and he’ll make it soon enough……………………

  • I want to see him get the Cup. Retirement would be good for the team, but such a bummer way to go out.

    I wish we could trade him to a team that’s a Henrik away from the Cup. I’d be happy to see him in an Avs jersey hoisting the Cup.

  • Not to worry, if he does the right thing and retires he can be assured of a Hen-Rik chant and standing ovation whenever the next time the Rangers are able to play in front of their fans.

  • Loan him to Frölunda for the season. If they pay part of the salary(say, the NHL minimum) the Rangers would get a credit for that.

    Their season will (probably)be starting on time and their playoffs would be over before the Stanley Cup 1st rd would even start.

    He gets reps and a light workload while playing with his brother one last time, the Rangers get a little cap relief and a shot at one last potential playoff run. If not, then he plays at Worlds.

    • The Rangers can get half their cap relief by trading him & getting $4.25 mill in cap saving rather then just $750K, it’s a much smarter move then having him play in Europe. As I have said in my post I will certainly miss him, he was a GREAT GOALIE, the best at a certain time & he deserves a cup. Would love to see the Leafs get him as a 1s & 1b random with Campbell if he feels he has another run in him. When the king is on even at 39 I would take him over the majority of the backups, & 40% of the starters right now.
      Go Leafs Go!!!!

  • IF The King retires I personally will miss him very much, I know he’s not the best goalie in the world, maybe fighting with Price for the title at times, but he is still better then 65% of the goalies starting in the NHL right now, & it’s to bad he has to go, if he does. I would love to see him land on the Leafs as a 1a & 1b goalie with the Leafs trading Andersen in a deal for a RHD man with a sweetener if necessary like to the Hurricanes who for sure need a #1 goalie.
    Go Leafs Go!!!

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