Henrik Lundqvist was in the last year of his contract. Now, he will be anchoring the net for the New York Rangers for the most of the next decade. Glen Sather and the Rangers’ brass gave Lundqvist a seven-year deal worth around $8.5 million per year. Did the Rangers overpay the former Vezina Trophy winner?
The Rangers will only go as far as Lundqvist takes them. He is clearly the team’s most valuable player and one of the most important players in the league. He will become the fifth-highest paid player in the NHL over the next seven years. We all know Lundqvist has had a rough start to this season. A lot of people attribute that to the lack of having a contract extension. Since he does have the extension now, I expect him to start bringing his game to another level.
The future of this contract is what scares me. Lundqvist will be turning 32-years-old this season and will be 39 when this current contract expires. Very few goaltenders have the ability to play at a high level into their upper 30s and early 40s. Martin Brodeur is the current exception to that stereotype.
Say around year four that his play begins to decline and he can’t get himself to play at his usual level. How will the Rangers be able to move that contract? Sather and the Rangers must hope that the Rangers can win before this contract gets into its later stages.
Either way, Lundqvist will be retiring a Rangers. It will either be because he wins and the Rangers finally get over the hump and win a Stanley Cup, or it will be that his game declines and the Rangers will be handcuffed and are unable to move him.