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Columnist: Rangers should be ‘afraid’ of losing Lundqvist

May 28, 2013, 2:19 PM EDT

Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes a save during his 500th career NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 5, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 2-1 in a shootout.
(April 4, 2013 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

With only a year left on his contract, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was conspicuously non-committal yesterday when asked about his future with the club that drafted him all the way back in 2000.

“I’m gonna talk to my agent, and we’ll see,” Lundqvist said. “You know, I had such a great time here in New York. From day one they treated me really well and have given me an opportunity to play a lot of hockey. It’s been a lot of fun. I have one more year on the contract.

“I’m just focused on – well, right now, I’m trying to get over this year – but we’ll see. I’ll talk to my agent and take it from there.”

Like most Rangers fans, the above remarks had New York Post columnist Larry Brooks wondering what Lundqvist meant by them:

Maybe this was Lundqvist simply starting negotiations. But maybe not. Maybe the 31-year-old reigning Vezina winner and 2013 finalist is going to take some time, perhaps all of next season, to evaluate whether committing to the Rangers represents his best chance to win the Stanley Cup.

There is very little doubt that Lundqvist, operating on a six-year contract under which he is earning an average of $6.875 million per, will surpass Alex Ovechkin ($9.538 million per) as the NHL’s highest paid player.

Lundqvist’s asking price is likely to be a minimum of $80 million for eight years, the maximum length allowed for a player re-signing with his own team.

Lundqvist, 31, won the Vezina Trophy last year and is a finalist again in 2013. He’s been the Rangers’ MVP seven straight seasons.

He’s also already made a ton of money in the NHL. Which is to say, yes, he could get an eight-year deal if he re-signs with the Rangers compared to just seven anywhere else, but is one extra year going to be a difference-maker?

Last word to Brooks:

Lundqvist enjoys a certain lifestyle. There may not be many teams in preferred cities with both the need and the means for the goaltender who have a greater chance to win over the next few seasons than the Rangers.

But given the chance to pledge his future to a New York he so clearly loves, the goaltender declined. Maybe it was a gambit. Maybe it was a way of warning management not to take him for granted.

But maybe he is skeptical about the program. If that is the case, the Rangers should be afraid.

  1. 950003cups - May 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    If he wants to win a cup, he has to leave the Rangers.

    • 950003cups - May 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      Lundqvist called Brodeur and invited him over his place for a drink. Brodeur told him “obviously you’ll bring the booze, and I’ll bring the cups, since you don’t have any”

    • dumbassgreg - May 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      unless sather dies . he clearly can’t be fired regardless of job he does. of course messier maybe worse look at what he did with team canada.

      • 950003cups - May 28, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        Not sure if you know, but Sather has cancer. Saying “unless sather dies” is grossly offensive. If you didn’t know, now is a good time to update yourself http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/report-sather-cancer-surgery-article-1.1294772

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 28, 2013 at 5:11 PM

        Cancer! Nasty word! Having lost more of my share of relatives and friends to this disease, I hope Sather recovers very well, and hope it was discovered early because that increases the prognosis.

  2. devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Lol, no one is going to pay ANY goalie more than $7 million per, let alone $10 million.

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Have you watched the Flyers operate over the last few decades? They’ve seen enough of Lundqvist shutting them down over the years that I’m sure Ed Snider would be drooling if Lundqvist became an UFA. Think about it… they keep Bryz for one more season then buy him out and Timonen’s $6mil comes off the books (along w a few others); they move around a few contracts this summer and next, then I can absolutely see Holmgren and Snider throwing atleast $9mil/yr at Lundqvist. They would def see him as the answer to their problems.

      • devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Hank would never go to Philly for two reasons 1. He is a true NY Ranger, he hates them 2. The Philly Goalie curse.

      • Habib Marwan - May 28, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        keep bryz? and hinder the chance for the guy you call a future all star in steve mason to develop and get back to form? .. nah i cant see that happening. bryz has to go now , no delays the guy’s making all sorts of asinine comments just so they do get rid of him

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 28, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        Devils, the Flyers goaltending “curse” is a major reason why Snider would be so willing to write Lundqvist a blank check. And he seems pretty sick of playing behind a team that can’t score. Plus moving from NY to Philly would be a simple transition, as opposed to heading out west. I’m not saying he’s gonna be a Flyer but if there’s one team that would meet his financial demands it would be Philadelphia.

        Habib/Charles Logan, I never once called Steve Mason a future all-star. I simply stated he easily outperformed Bryz. Mason was lights out in the short time he was here, which is why he got the bulk of the starts to end the year and why the Flyers started winning. The team plays with a confidence in front of Mason that they never showed with Bryz. And, in turn, Mason’s confidence returned. Small sample size but you can’t deny a sub-2.00GAA and a .940+sv%. I absolutely agree that the Flyers should rid themselves of Bryz now. And that he’s saying all he can to force their hand. But from everything I’ve read it seems more likely, at this point, that they let Mason & Bryz split time next season. Holmgren seems to like the combo and Snider would rather pay another years salary to a player “helping” his team than pay Bryz to leave. I could be wrong but that’s just how it looks.

      • devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        @phillyphanatic77 why would they want to ruin another goalies career with the curse. Haven’t they realized it doesn’t matter who they have in net, he will play terrible. That is the curse. Bryz was a solid goalie before Philly and look at him now. Opposite for Bob. I think Snider is done wasting his money and this time they wont have a buyout option.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 28, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        First off, the Flyers have had the likes Bernie Parent, Pelle Lindbergh, and, most recently, Ron Hextall… 3 Vezina winners. Their “curse” can be mostly attributed to poor personnel choices. Bob Clarke, despite playing with Parent, seemed to think goalies weren’t important. He always went the cheap route, like choosing Vanbiesbrouck instead of Curtis Joseph. And Bryz was so successful in Phoenix bc of Tippetts emphasis on defense. He was shielded there. In an offense-first system he’s average at best. Bob was very good for most of his rookie year then lost confidence in the playoffs and with the signing of Bryz. It’s not a curse so much as incompetence when it comes to choosing and developing the right guy.

      • Habib Marwan - May 28, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        Ron Hextall was one of the best goalies of all time to never win a Cup, i enjoyed watching that guy play especially when he hacked Kent Nilsson in the 97 Finals and went postal on Chelios in 89 in the Eastern Conf Finals

      • Habib Marwan - May 28, 2013 at 9:28 PM

        I stand correct the 87 Finals not the 97 Finals

    • stakex - May 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Yeah, there is no chance in hell Lundqvist will make that kind of money in his new deal. Hes one of the best goalies in the NHL, but he doesn’t have a cup and has had some playoff issues. Hes probably going to get a deal pretty close to the one he currently has.

      To the point, Pekka Rinne is the highest paid goalie in the NHL right now at $7 million… and I just don’t see Lundqvist getting 30% more then any other goalie in the league.

      • nyrnashty - May 28, 2013 at 11:04 PM

        He’s the face of the NHL in America and in many other countries around the world. He’ll get that deal based off of his name alone. He’s the new David Beckham. People that don’t know anything about hockeyt know who he is. Extremely popular in Hollywood and in media around the world. He’s like a movie star. You’re not just getting a player when you sign him. Of course he’ll get the money somewhere, but it will need to be a big city.

  3. billyhauntswizards - May 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    he’s right, we should be. Sather has to put a winner on the ice this year or problems will happen.

  4. barkar942 - May 28, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    “Lundqvist enjoys a certain lifestyle. There may not be many teams in preferred cities with both the need and the means for the goaltender who have a greater chance to win over the next few seasons than the Rangers.”

    If the NHL places the Coyotes in Paris, France or London, England, Hank might consider leaving NY. Other than that, Hank will become well paid and play his entire career in New York City.

    And, Hank does deserve to be the highest paid player in the league. He shows up to play every night, unlike Ovechkin.

    • barkar942 - May 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      And Brooksie needs to write something to help sell papers.
      Why doesn’t Lundqvist interview Brooks and ask him if he really thinks Hank will go anywhere else?
      The interview would end in two seconds with a one word answer- NO.

    • devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Unlike Ovechkin, he hasn’t had back-to-back Hart Trophies, three Art Ross Trophies, NHL first team 5 years in a row. And, neither of them have a Cup. OV excels at his position, forward (his job is to score goals) more than The Queen. Put Hank in perspective with other goalies and he does not deserve 10 million. Here are the top 3 highest paid goalies:
      1. Pekka Rinne- $7,000,000
      2. Henrik Lundqvist- 6,875,000
      3. Carey Price- 6,500,000
      So, obviously Hank is one of the best goalies in the league and I’ll put him in the same category as J.Quick and P.Rinne. Quick is only going to be paid 5.8 million from this season, and he is the only one from the group with a Cup, and he performs on the same level as Lundqvist. Based on this data, hank, should really be payed around the same as Quick, maybe it’s justifiable to give him a drop more, but $10 million!?! Give him $7-$7.5 Million a year and he’ll take it and happily be the highest payed goaltender in the NHL.

  5. jcmeyer10 - May 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Shoulda played baseball if he wants that cash.

  6. hockeywithdrawal - May 28, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    He should consider the Islanders.

    Scandalous.
    :D

    • islesjb - May 28, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      The isles would never commit that kind of term and money to a goalie. Get real. Not how Wang rolls

      • joshuakorr - May 28, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        I’m pretty sure the Isles/DiPietro are the poster child for bad long term goalie contracts.

      • 950003cups - May 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        I’m pretty sure islesjb was being sarcastic

      • bcisleman - May 28, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        He might be sarcastic, but the Isles make a lot of sense. If HL is in net for the Isles vs the Pens, Isles win that series and maybe get to the Finals. Then, who knows.

        HL could deal w/ the boos he’d get from the NYR faithful. Maybe they update “Potvin Sucks”! With Isles coming to downtown Brooklyn, he doesn’t even have to move out of the luxury apartment I assume he’s living in.

        As for Wang, he’d gladly pay that money for a goalie who will get his team the Cup and poke a finger in Dolan’s eye at the same time.

      • 950003cups - May 28, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        I’m not so sure Lundqvist would go to Brooklyn or Newark so fast. Parise turned down deals from Philly, and wouldn’t consider dealing with NY. Scott Gomez did that, yes. But I just think Lundqvist would get equivalent offers from other teams. Lifestyle my ass! The guy isn’t gonna give up a good chance to win a cup because there aren’t enough Latte carts on the street. He spent his whole life dreaming of winning it all.

      • 950003cups - May 28, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        oh, and I’m also a FIRM believer in: AIN’T NOBODY GONNA GIVE NO GOALIE $80 MILLION FOR EIGHT YEARS!

    • islesjb - May 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Joshuakorr: Said the guy who completely didn’t get the joke

  7. gmenfan1982 - May 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I think one aspect he was really hinting at whether or not the rangers will have cap space. By saying we will see he’s not saying he wants to leave. With still a year left on his contract its not like its a must come to a deal immediately situation.

    • bcisleman - May 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Rangers will surely clear whatever cap space they need to to keep HL. This isn’t about money or cap space. Its about the Cup.

      It all depends on next year. If the NYR get to the 3rd round or beyond, he probably stays. If they miss the playoffs or are a one and done, I’d be surprised if he stays.

  8. pastabelly - May 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Ovechkin signed his deal long before the new labor agreement which actually cut from the present $70 million to $64 million. The Rangers have three key guys (McDonagh, Hagelin, Stepan) up as RFAs who will get more money and there is no justification for paying Lundqvist any more than he is getting now. He will be 32 when he hits the market. This one doesn’t look good for NY. They might be better off with a very good (not great) goalie, signing their younger players, buying out Richards, and making some moves to bring in scoring. With Detroit and Columbus moving to the conference, it is no given that the Rangers even make the playoffs next season.

    Five teams will probably come from the division now called the Northeast: Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. That leaves three in East: Pittsburgh, Islanders, and one among Columbus, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, and Columbus.

    • devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      You’ll see the Devils in the playoffs next year assuming they don;t have severe injury problems. The showed that when they are healthy they have a team capable of fighting for the Atlantic Division. Many people seem to underestimate the Devils for some reason O do not understand since they made the finals last year and were on track again before the injury problems started. And with Jonathan bernier next year, we’ll have a stable backup in case of a Brodeur injury.

      • islesjb - May 28, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        I’m hoping the Isles make a more for Bernier. Both of our teams could use a solid young goalie and the Isles have the prospects/depth to trade for him

      • devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        And the Devils have 8 NHL defensemen plus 4 solid prospects to trade for him. And Reid Boucher.

  9. navyeoddavee9 - May 28, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Penguins

    • devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Yup. They can totally have three guys taking up half their cap. I mean, unless the NHL changes some rules for them (I’m talking to you tainted) then their not signing anyone for the next like ten years.

  10. stakex - May 28, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Lundqvist can ask for $80 million over eight years all he wants, but hes not going to get that. Highest paid goalie in the NHL today makes $7 million, and theres just no way Lundqvist is going to get 30% more… especially with the lower cap.

    • valoisvipers - May 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      I would though give him 30 million for three years if my team was a cup contender with some goal tending issues.

  11. pitpenguinsrulez - May 28, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    His best bet would be to go out West because the East is stacked with top teams such as Pittsburgh, Philly, Boston etc. Going out West would give him the best chances I think

  12. csilojohnson - May 28, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Maby he just answered the question like EVERY other player in a similar situation does.
    Are you guys really going to over analyze every generic answer?

  13. nyrnashty - May 28, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Lundqvist will get the money, but it will have to be in a big city. You’re not just paying for a player, you’re paying for his business. He’s like David Beckham, you might not know what position he plays, but you know who he is in Hollywood and media throughout the world based off on non hockey related topics. He’s basically a movie star that draws attention to your team, not for his performance (Even though he’s great), but because of his looks. Girls love him across the world, so whatever the league max in the NHL is, that’s a bargain to an owner!

    • devilsarethebest - May 28, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      This isn’t WWE. No one really cares how a player looks. Unless some GM wants out of his job quickly, they would never sign someone to a massive deal for being a chick magnet.

      • nyrnashty - May 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM

        He’s the face of the league to the average sports fan dude.

      • devilsarethebest - May 29, 2013 at 3:33 AM

        Have you met my friends Crosby and Ovechkin?

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