It is no secret that Henrik Lundqvist is in the twilight of his career. I have written multiple times on my feelings on King Henrik retiring and the Rangers moving to Igor Sheshterkin in net. There is a lot of speculation surrounding what will happen with Henrik. Will the Rangers buy him out? Will he go back to Sweden to keep playing? Or will he even think about playing in another uniform? Rangers defenseman, Libor Hajek, only added fuel to the fire when he said that Henrik had made the rounds and pretty much said goodbye to his teammates after the Hurricanes series.
— Baamboo22 (@Baamboo22) September 16, 2020
What does this mean?
We are very quickly approaching the opening of the buyout window in the NHL. This could very realistically be Henrik Lundqvist’s last week as a member of the Rangers. What does Lundqvist saying goodbye mean? Is it simply a precautionary, if something comes up where he decides to hang it up, or is it something deeper? After this week, we will have a much clearer picture of what Henrik’s fate is.
Prediction and opinion
If I had to put money down on an option, my guess is that the Rangers will buy out Lundqvist. It immediately clears up about $3million in cap space and then he only carries a cap hit of a little over $1million the following season. However, I personally do not like that option. What kind of message does buying out Henrik send? He is easily in the conversation for best Ranger ever and will have his number in the rafters the season after he retires. He will slide in right between Mark Messier and another Ranger goalie great, Mike Richter.
The man is a living legend in Rangers hockey. Unless they come to a mutual agreement where the buyout is the best option for both parties, I think it would be a mistake. Buying out Kevin Shattenkirk started a PR disaster, imagine what happens with Lundqvist.
An era is truly ending in New York. Apart from Staal and Kreider, Lundqvist is the only player left from those teams a couple seasons ago that made a finals appearance and won a President’s trophy (that made meaningful contributions). I cannot wait to tell my nephews that I got to see Henrik Lundqvist play during his career. He is one of those players that you look back on and can’t help but to be in awe. The only thing missing is a Stanley Cup ring, but he also has an Olympic Gold Medal and World Cup of Hockey champion on his resume. The man has won and won a lot. I just hope it gets to end on his terms.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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