Skip to content

What if Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t return to New York?

Aug 27, 2013, 3:55 PM EDT

Henrik Lundqvist Getty Images

There’s been no player who’s been more the face of the New York Rangers than Henrik Lundqvist.

For the past eight seasons he’s been a workhorse (four seasons of 70-plus games played), he’s been exceptional (2012 Vezina Trophy winner), and he’s been a role model (and supermodel) in the community. Basically, he’s the perfect guy to be playing in New York City.

What if he wasn’t there anymore though? There’s a possibility that could happen after this season.

Lundqvist is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and there’s no doubt he’d be able to command any salary he’d want on the open market. While he’d be 31 years old next summer, teams in need of a No. 1 goalie would fall all over themselves to get him.

He’s said he can’t see himself leaving the Rangers and he’s not even thinking about free agency. At some point he’s going to have to do that, however, and if he goes elsewhere GM Glen Sather is going to be in quite a bind.

If the Rangers tried to go to a goalie from within, the way they did with Lundqvist back in 2005, their crew of prospects isn’t exactly hot.

Free agency? There are possibilities there if other teams made like the Rangers and didn’t take care of their own.

Other possible 2014 free agent No. 1 goalies include: Jonas Hiller, Ryan Miller, Corey Crawford, Semyon Varlamov (RFA), Devan Dubnyk, Martin Brodeur, Evgeni Nabokov, Robin Lehner (RFA), Ray Emery, Steve Mason (RFA), Tomas Vokoun, Jaroslav Halak, Brian Elliott, Anders Lindback (RFA), and James Reimer (RFA).

You have to assume many teams will re-sign their own guys, so many of these names will be knocked off before next summer.

If Sather can’t get a deal worked out with Lundqvist there are some options to work with here, but for the Rangers that’s a worst-case scenario. The right move is to make sure King Henrik finishes his career as a Ranger at a price that won’t make him start thinking of other cities to play in.

Latest Posts
  1. Tavares struggles to believe ‘it’s really over’ for Isles

    Apr 28, 2015, 12:04 AM EDT

    John Tavares AP

    It’s also tough to say what happens next.

  2. Video: Breaking down Kuznetsov’s series-clincher for Caps

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:16 PM EDT

    Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brooks Orpik Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brooks Orpik

    Barry Trotz says he has the joy of a kid and the maturity of a man.

  3. Not done yet: Lightning earn Game 7 against Red Wings

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:55 PM EDT

    Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat AP

    Some great individual performances propel Tampa Bay.

  4. Milbury throws out rules, much like the NHL

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:36 PM EDT

    Mike Milbury

    Game 7 is one of those “let them play” games.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 27, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Nicklas Backstrom, Johnny Boychuk , Thomas Hickey, Marcus Johansson AP

    One Game 7 and one team hoping to force another.

  6. Blues owner ‘disappointed and frustrated,’ but not ready to ‘throw people under the bus’

    Apr 27, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 Getty Images

    Tom Stillman did say “I’m sure there’ll be changes” following another first-round playoff defeat.

  7. Weber has ‘medical procedure’ for ‘subluxed kneecap’

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT

    Shea Weber AP

    Expected to make full recovery within 4-6 weeks.

  8. NHL issues statement on passing of Hall of Famer Pronovost

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:11 PM EDT

    2006 NHL Entry Draft Portraits Getty Images

    Former Maple Leaf and Red Wing appeared in over 1,200 career games, winning five Stanley Cups.

  9. Despite ‘step in the right direction,’ do Canucks need to alter core?

    Apr 27, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Phoenix Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis were each asked if they’d be willing to waive their no-trade clauses.

  10. After hook versus Canucks, Hartley says ‘no question’ Hiller starts against Ducks

    Apr 27, 2015, 2:47 PM EDT

    Jonas Hiller Getty Images

    Flames head coach Bob Hartley confirmed the decision on Monday.

Featured video

Price brilliant for Habs
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2286)
  2. S. Weber (1999)
  3. A. Burrows (1933)
  4. M. Giordano (1821)
  5. M. Zuccarello (1768)
  1. K. Letang (1604)
  2. C. Price (1568)
  3. D. Carcillo (1555)
  4. L. Bouma (1459)
  5. K. Klein (1413)