NHL News – Rangers Extend Lundqvist

Image courtesy of hlundqvist.blogspot.com.

As per TSN, the New York Rangers have extended superstar goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a lucrative 7-year contract, to begin in the 2014/15 season.

This should come as no surprise, although there were rumblings of discontent in recent months, with the man affectionately known as Hank reportedly clashing with now former Head Coach John Tortorella, who’s new job involves producing a torrent of hilarious GIFs showing him getting in the faces of Vancouver Canucks players. It’s like a Canadian version of Jackass, with Tortorella doing everything he can to see how much it takes for a hockey player to snap and assault him. I mean seriously, do you think he gets paid royalties for those? Because Paris Hilton reportedly got a cut from her se-

Back on point. The 31-year old veteran of 9 NHL seasons appears to have a decent enough relationship with new coach Alain Vigneault, although this season hasn’t seen the greatest start for team, coach or player.  The Rangers currently sit at 8th in the Eastern Conference with a 14-14-0 record, whilst Lundqvist – who has sported a winning record in 7 of his previous 8 seasons – has a mediocre 8-11-0 record with a 2.51 GAA and .917 SV%.  He has also been scratched more often than seems usual this early in the season, 26-year old rookie sensation Cam Talbot stealing the headlines with an outstanding 1.79 GAA, .934 SV% and 6-2-0 record.

Thankfully for the Rangers, they didn’t read too much into this small sample size, and have made the safe bet in perhaps the NHL’s most consistently elite goalie since the 2004/05 lockout.  Lundqvist’s new deal will see him become the NHL’s highest paid goalie, earning an average of $8.5m per season until 2020/21.  This should keep “King Henrik” on Broadway for the majority of the rest of his career, with Lundqvist himself stating:

There were two things that became really clear to me: No. 1 was I really wanted to win the (Stanley) Cup here in New York. It’s my biggest goal and my biggest dream and what really pushes me right now to work harder. Secondly, I want to be a Ranger for life.

His career numbers are simply outstanding.  For goalies with 200 games played since 2005:

  • He ranks first in wins with 284;
  • He ranks second in games played with 531, behind only Miikka Kiprusoff;
  • He ranks third in save percentage at .920, behind only Tomas Vokoun and Tim Thomas, despite having played well over 100 games more than those two;
  • He ranks first in goals against average, at 2.26, 6 points lower than second place Martin Brodeur;
  • He ranks second in shutouts at 47, just one behind first place Brodeur and 6 ahead of third place Roberto Luongo;
  • He’s faced the third most shots (14,812) behind only Ryan Miller & Kiprusoff.
*Statistics courtesy of hockey-reference.com

There should be no doubt that Lundqvist remains the go-to guy between the pipes for the Rangers, and it is highly likely that he’ll regain his usual top form before long.  Goalies tend to play well late into their 30s, even someone with as many miles on the clock as he does.

Now for the Rags to build a team worthy of the King.

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