Coming into this season, there were murmurings about the future of Henrik Lundqvist in New York. An extension was looming, and when the season began, it had not been signed yet. Then, the Rangers had a tumultuous start to the season, Lundqvist included, and those talks were sort of pushed to the wayside. Well, now those talks, hushed or otherwise, can end. Lundqvist has signed an extension with the Rangers.
As expected, it is a pretty major extension. It's for seven years and $59.5 million. That makes him the highest paid goalie in the league, when the extension kicks in after the season, and it is the fifth highest cap hit in the league at $8.5 million. So, it's a huge commitment to a goalie. That always works out, right?
Is there reason to be wary about this deal? Of course, because it is a seven-year deal for a guy who is currently 31 years old. Let us not toss out the name "Ilya Bryzgalov" and call this a disaster though. Lundqvist has been the best goalie in the NHL the last few years. He is a five time Vezina finalist, and he won it once. He has a .920 career save percentage which is very good. Even with his issues earlier this season, he now has a .917 SV%, which is fine, and I expect that to improve. I don't think King Henrik falls off a cliff.
I also don't think this deal looks good in the last couple of years, but that is the cost of doing business with these type of contracts. Right now, he's still a great goalie, and by then end of the deal he could still be good. Goalies can have a long shelf life. Also, due to the new TV deal up in Canada, the NHL salary cap is expected by some to rise quite a bit over the next few years. If that is the case, this deal might not seem so steep. Perhaps the Rangers realized that. Probably not, because they are owned by James Dolan, but you never know.
So yeah, Henrik Lundqvist is a Ranger, and he shall likely remain a Ranger for the rest of his career. King Henrik has established his place in New York sports. Also, he's super rich. Huzzah!