One of the off-the-ice storylines heading into the 2013-14 season is the contract status of Henrik Lundqvist with the New York Rangers. Set to become a free agent next summer, whether or not the veteran netminder would be interested in signing an extension to remain on Broadway.
The situation had a much more bleak outlook when head coach John Tortorella was still in town. Lundqvist never gave a straight answer when asked about a potential extension while the fiery Torts was still behind the bench. With a change at the top, though, the likelihood he’ll remain in New York includes a much higher probability.
Whether it’s through an extension or they sign him next summer prior to him hitting the market, it’s tough to see the Rangers letting Lundqvist walk at all. He’s an elite presence between the pipes and is still playing at a high level, with at least four or five years left at this high level. It’s just a matter of what he gets.
When Corey Crawford got his extension last weekend, speculation immediately shifted to what Lundqvist could get. With a goaltender like Crawford, who has a ring but isn’t considered elite, what could Lundqvist, a guy who doesn’t have a ring but is considered elite, gets in his new deal.
If Crawford got a $6 million cap hit, it’s frightening to think what Hank could get. The goaltender currently carrying the highest cap hit in the league is Pekka Rinne, at $7 million. Lundqvist is a guy coming off of another Vezina Trophy nomination, one year after winning it. He’s a top three goaltender. He should easily reach $8 million, in terms of his cap hit. It’s just a matter of years.
That’ll likely be the main holdup when negotiations to get underway for a new deal. There’s little question that Henrik Lundqvist is about to get paid more than any other goaltender on the planet. But as far as the years are concerned, that’s where the Rangers may have an issue.