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Lundqvist can’t fathom leaving the Rangers

Aug 14, 2013, 9:15 PM EST

henriklundqvistgetty Getty Images

A goalie as seasoned and marketable as Henrik Lundqvist could fetch a staggering bounty on the free agent market, but it’s difficult to imagine him playing for any team other than the New York Rangers.

Even with his next contract unsettled, Lundqvist admitted to SVT Sweden’s Marie Lehmann that it’s tough for him to think of such a situation, too. NHL.com provides his translated thoughts:

“The way the organization and fans have treated me and how much I’ve enjoyed it, it’s hard to picture myself playing elsewhere,” Lundqvist said.

The 31-year-old admitted that his contract year is huge for his career, but he also stated that he doesn’t want it to be a distraction.

Lundqvist’s situation is the biggest question mark for the Rangers going forward, but 2013-14 looks like a serious fork in the road overall for the franchise. It’s Alain Vigneault’s first season as head coach while Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Derick Brassard rank among the many other Rangers entering contract years.

In other words, a lot can change between this summer and next, even for the league’s most reliable netminder.

  1. bcisleman - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    No doubt HL would prefer to stay w/ the NYR. If his team fails to make a serious Cup run this year, however, he will have a lot to think about. I suspect he will have to wrap his mind around the likelihood of never winning the Cup if he stays.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      I am NOT a Pens fan, and yet think of what impact Lundqvist would have there.

      • bensawesomeness - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Impact? Yes. Practicality? Not with so much salary already being tied up in their top guys

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        I was just giving an illustration of how attractive he’d be to a number of teams. Pens would have to amnesty Fleury and still get Lundqvist to take a lower salery for the privilage of playing for them.

        And if he’d been their goalie, the Islander’s series would not have been close.

      • bcisleman - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        If HL had been EITHER team’s goalie, the series wouldn’t have been close. You forget Nabby was putrid too.

    • stakex - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      There are serious problem with that argument.

      First of all, the Rangers have one of the best teams in the East. If AV can get a bit more offense out of them, the Rangers will be as dangerous as anyone. I doubt Lundqvist has any issues with the potential of the Rangers, and he has as good a chance of winning a cup with the Rangers as he does with anyone.

      Besides, who else could he go to? Almost all the top teams in the league already have top goaltenders. The only team that doesn’t is the Pens, but they have a cap crisis to deal with for the 2014-2015 seasons already and adding another $2-3 million to their goaltender spending is just not feasible.

      • bcisleman - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        Based on what exactly are the NYR one of the best teams in the East? W/O HL, they are, at best, a bubble team or even a bottom ten. He is the only reason they are even in the conversation in the East.

  2. ag3rd - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    He won’t leave New York. Lose his adoring media? Not the drama queen! Long live Marty!

  3. pone27 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Let me just say, being a born and raised NYer while ALWAYS being a Blackhawks fan (save the hate) I will say, I hope the Rangers keep him. I love watching Lundy as a first things first hockey fan.

    Having this as being a non-biased fan, this is the moment where Sather will go down in history as a loser. Its either he “over-pays” (and I quote because Lundy deserves to be the highest paid tender in the NHL) and then the Rangers lose even more depth up front (no way you can move that D core,) or he is let go, and Ranger fans/front office realize just what he literally did for this team.

    The Rangers are too tied high to the cap on 2-3 top players, and have no room to give them depth. Lundy will stay, and you cannot blame him. He will get top dollar, he will be surrounded by arguably the most popular city in the NHL, and will always receive support. The Rangers just wont ever succeed (under Sather.)

    Lundy = Sean Avery’s dream boat

  4. vman0626 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    this guy is adored in NY, despite hockey being the fourth favorite team sport. he is also the best athlete on his team of all the NY franchises.

  5. muckthefets23 - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    As a Flyers fan I have to say that we definitely have a need for a goalie like Henrik. No way the Steve Mason/Ray Emery combo works out well. It’s merely a bandaid at this point. However there is no chance he signs in Philly.

    • hockeyfan28 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      The last big name goalie the flyers signed was a Stanley cup winner, a Vezina and Hart trophy finalist and he was pretty much run out of town 2 month ago don’t think it wouldn’t also happen to hank if he came to Philly especially since I could easily seeing the guy get 8 mill a year on the open market. Flyers are better off just letting Anthony Stolarz develop in the minors

  6. stepanup - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Good, now let’s get this man a cup. He sure as hell deserves one for carrying this team for years. Last year’s underachievement when the Rangers had Gabby and Nash together was pathetic. I really hope this year is the rebound year I believe it can be.

  7. martysbetter - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    As much as it pains me to say as a Devils fan, the Rangers have the potential to be far more dangerous this year with AV’s system. Torts was holding that team back, his counter-attacking style is more fit for the soccer field – they’re going to be as dangerous as ever next season.

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