OFFICIAL: Rangers announce that the team has bought out the final year of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s contract.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 30, 2020
The buyout was also confirmed by the New York Post Larry Brooks.
Henrik Lundqvist Has Been Bought Out
As has been rumoured for a while now, the Rangers having three goalies on their roster meant that Lundqvist was expendable. With cap space coming at a premium due to the pandemic causing franchises to tighten their financial belts, it seems this was inevitable. Still, a mainstay in the net for the Rangers will be moving on. That is if he wants to continue to play. The last year of his seven-year $59.5 million contract will save the team $3 million in cap space. It will also create $1.5 million in dead cap space for the 2021-22 season.
Henrik Lundqvist stands as the sixth winningest goaltender in the NHL with a 459-310-96 record. He also has a 2.43 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage. Lundqvist has had 64 career shutouts and 61 postseason wins to his long resume. During the past season, his statistics have dropped off a bit. He participated in 30 games with a 10-12-3 record and a .905 save percentage. His goals-against-average was 3.16. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12 when he turned in a stellar performance. Lundqvist went 39-18-5 with a .930 save percentage and a ridiculous 1.97 goals-against-average.
What This Means Going Forward
In the team’s last 19 regular season games Lundqvist did not start a game. Team president John Davidson, general manager Jeff Gorton, and head coach David Quinn, along with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire all concurred that their two young goalies would get more attention. Both Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin have been giving more starts and apparently, the team’s brass feels they will go with their youth in net. It’s difficult to argue that decision since the young tandem took the team to an 18-10-1 record down the stretch.
Still, this is an end of an era for “King Henry”. We will need to wait to see what his plans are for continuing to play or to retire. He is 38-years-old, so that could be a factor.