Offseason

It’s Done: NY Rangers buyout final year of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract

It’s official now. The NY Rangers have bought out the final year of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract. It is truly the end of an era of Rangers hockey.

The buyout will save the Rangers $3 million in cap space this season. However the buyout wasn’t about the cap savings. It was about a fresh start for player and team going in different directions.

Thank you, Henrik Lundqvist. Thank you for making the Rangers relevant again. Thank you for giving us hope after the dark days of Rangers hockey. You are a legend, and a true professional on and off the ice.

We wish you well, wherever you wind up. We hope you get that Stanley Cup of which you are so deserving.

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  • it had to happen for this team to mover forward.
    hank was truly a great player on and off the ice. pure class
    always a ranger

  • This one hurts.

    All the best, Hank, and thank you for a decade and a half of excellence.

    Sv% / GAA

    Career .918 / 2.44
    Playoffs .921 / 2.30
    Elim Games ? / 1.74
    Game 7s .961 / 1.11

    Absolutely remarkable. The bigger the game, the bigger you played. Exemplary in every sense of the word. Thank you.

  • sorry for the double post …

    tangential but another thought … the often and – imho – unfairly maligned Tortorella system when he coached the rangers commonly drew criticism for being boring and defense first. however, JT in general was coaching a comparatively rather slow team that excelled more in spirit than in skill, except in net, where the Rangers boasted the most highly skilled and consistent goalie in the NHL playing at the peak of his career. the Tortorella rangers frankly weren’t mobile enough to play a more aggressive defensive scheme and the low zone collapse-and-block system worked extremely well, largely keeping shots to the perimeter, with Hank deep in his net counted on to stop whatever got through.

    but the Tortorella rangers also often played an aggressive forecheck, sending multiple forwards deep to pressure the puck and create offensive, and Torts gave his D a lot of latitude to join the play with a forward dropping back to cover their position. I think this is often overlooked aspect of the 2010-2013 NYR ranger seasons. they willed themselves to success with an offensive system that in general they were not best suited to play, one that worked for Tortorella and the 2004 Lightning team featuring Marty St. Louis in his prime, a young Lecavalier and Brad Richards, etc.

    Speed Kills did not work best for the Rangers of the early 2010s because they did not have the speed, they were not always mobile enough to make this work for them, though they certainly gave their all to make up for it in energy and conditioning. The Rangers were middle of the pack in scoring but consistently one of the best defensive teams. but what if Tortorella had adapted his offensive system to the reality of his roster’s talents? what if the less mobile rangers had fallen back on a Bruins style trap at the right times? would it have made a difference? could it have overcome the team’s lack of scoring depth against the Devils in the 2012 ECF after gutting its way to two game-7 wins, and gotten the Rangers another taste of the Finals and who knows, maybe even a Stanley Cup in Henrik’s NYR lifetime?

    when I think back on the way those teams played the game, I still think that anything was possible. we’ll never know of course, but I’m certainly grateful to even be able to ask that question.

    • Those were good teams, feared teams that were damn tough to play against. Wish we had Torts back tbh, he might piss me off with his treatment of certain players but at least the team always had a core identity I could fully respect. They were all warriors, from the goal out.

  • A sad day indeed! Do you think Lundqvist asked to be bought out of his contract so he can play for a contender? I really never understood the logic for the buyout, outside of that one scenario.

    Either way, we wish him all the best. Can’t wait to see #30 raised up to the rafters.

  • Hank is a classy guy and a smart man in addition to being a legendary, surefire, Hall of Fame goal tender. He likely understands the Rangers’ need to designate Igor as the starting goal tender and with the business decision the Rangers made regarding a buyout. The buyout was obviously necessitated by his unwillingness to call it a career at this point.

    But, that day will come fairly soon. When it does, Hank will be back with the Rangers in some capacity. I think that is a certainty.

  • Hank first and foremost was a pro on and off the ice. There are some many great moments he gave Rangers fans. Hockey is a business and today was a remainder of that.

    Today sucks because there is a very good chance Hank takes a run at the cup and is a big part of that run. I think Hank on contender he could regain his form. I am hoping he ends up out west, so we don’t have to see him against us . Where will he end up? I could see him Colorado and thriving there.

    All hail the King

  • He gave us all he had for 15 years. During that time he was consistently the best player on the team. But time catches up to even the best. Unfortunately for Henrik, and for us Ranger fans, he got caught while the team was in the middle of a true rebuild, when it needed (and still needs) more talent and is bound by a particularly harsh salary cap. This buyout sucks, but I guess it’s the best compromise he and the team could reach. Let’s face it, both Henrik and JD are intelligent people, who hold each other in high esteem, so I’m pretty sure it was an a mutual decision. Good luck in the future to Henrik and his family. Seeing him hoist the Cup, even in another sweater, will bring a smile to my face, and maybe even a tear to my eye.

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