Dec 4, 2013, 12:39 PM EST
You all know by now that Henrik Lundqvist has agreed to a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension to guard the New York Rangers’ goal through 2020-21.
There’s no telling how the above will work out, so we’re not going to waste much time hemming and hawing over it. Maybe Lundqvist plays great throughout the term of the deal, and as a bonus the salary cap rockets up and his $8.5 million cap hit ends up looking like a bargain. Or, maybe his play declines with age, or he suffers a bunch of injuries, and the Rangers are forced to buy him out.
All that’s sure is this: the deal is the deal, and the work isn’t over for Rangers general manager Glen Sather. Because if you haven’t noticed, this team has some issues, and with Lundqvist locked up, it’s time to start addressing them.
Here are three questions that Sather needs to answer:
— What are Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi worth? Both can become unrestricted free agents this summer, and it’s hard to imagine the Rangers don’t want them back. That said, Callahan’s lengthy injury log has to be considered. How many years do you commit to a 28-year-old who plays the way Callahan plays? Do you give him seven years? Because there’s almost definitely a team out there that would.
— Is there enough offense on this roster? If Lundqvist plays like he’s shown he can, the Rangers won’t need to be the highest-scoring team in the league, but 2.21 goals per game isn’t going to cut it. Now, to be fair, Rick Nash has only played 11 games, and maybe it’s taken time for the players to adjust to Vigneault’s system. Chris Kreider has great potential, too. It’s still a question that needs to be asked when a team’s offense ranks 25th in a 30-team league. No goalie is that good.
— Where does defenseman Michael Del Zotto fit in the club’s plans? New coach Alain Vigneault hasn’t been particularly impressed with the 23-year-old, that’s for sure. You never want to trade a young player when his value is low, but it’s not like his value has been decimated. They could still get a decent return if he was shopped. If, however, Del Zotto does get moved, Sather will need to bolster the blue line with at least one more puck-mover who can drive some offense. Because Ryan McDonagh can’t do it all himself:
Nov 24, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
A rematch of the 2013 Eastern Conference Final.
Nov 24, 2014, 4:22 PM EST
Also, Brad Marchand’s off IR.
Nov 24, 2014, 4:11 PM EST
Another veteran d-man gets a look.
Nov 24, 2014, 3:41 PM EST
Combined cap hit? $1.76 million.
Combined points? 34.
Nov 24, 2014, 3:37 PM EST
Tonight on NBCSN.
Nov 24, 2014, 2:56 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Nov 24, 2014, 1:47 PM EST
Yes, that picture is a hint.
Nov 24, 2014, 1:43 PM EST
Habs sit atop the NHL standings, yet face a bunch of questions.
Nov 24, 2014, 12:35 PM EST
Injured during Saturday’s win over Detroit.
Nov 24, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
Dustin Schwartz will replace Frederic Chabot.
Nov 24, 2014, 12:13 PM EST
There’s a headline I never expected to type.
Nov 24, 2014, 12:09 PM EST
Just his second NHL game of the season.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:37 AM EST
Canucks rookie who models his game after Jonathan Toews has four points in his last two games.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:12 AM EST
Click for video of said “mistake.”
Nov 24, 2014, 11:05 AM EST
Two-time Jack Adams winner coached Canada to Olympic gold in 2002.
Nov 24, 2014, 10:55 AM EST
The new Holmstrom?
Nov 24, 2014, 10:23 AM EST
The latter’s in response to Roman Polak’s injury.
Nov 24, 2014, 10:03 AM EST
The Penguins in general have been spending a lot of time in the sin bin.
Nov 24, 2014, 9:22 AM EST
He’ll be in Tampa Bay for the first time since the move on Wednesday.
Nov 24, 2014, 8:44 AM EST
David Pastrnak might make his NHL debut.
- With worst save percentage in NHL, Oilers fire goalie coach 20
- Pat Quinn, ‘one of hockey’s most respected individuals,’ has died 11
- NHL on NBCSN: Bruins seek perfect game vs. Penguins 8
- Legendary hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov has died 14
- Canucks’ Hamhuis placed on IR 3
- Firing Dallas Eakins ‘would be so unfair,’ says Taylor Hall 31
- ‘It sucks for us, it sucks for the fans’: Oilers losing skid hits six games 17
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ 99
- ‘We did not want to disrespect our fans’: Leafs salute supporters after beating Red Wings 5
- Video: Demers sends Stoll flying with massive open-ice hit 8
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ (99)
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (88)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (78)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)