NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Rangers announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to terms with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on a long-term extension.
According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the deal is for seven years and $59.5 million. The new contract would make Lundqvist the highest-paid goalie in the league starting in the 2014-15 season.
“About eight months ago I sat down for the first time with my family and my agent and kind of discussed my future,” Lundqvist said Wednesday after practice. “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.
“To picture myself anywhere else, it was just wrong and it was never an option,” he added.
Rangers general manager Glen Sather said the process of retaining his star goalie was actually easier than he thought it would be.
“There were lots of pieces,” Sather said. “This was a very friendly, peaceful, low-key, unemotional decision to be made by everyone. It was fun. I enjoyed it.”
With the salary cap projected to rise, one hurdle was cleared.
“A lot of that is speculation, so far. You still have to be careful,” Sather said. “We have a cap to deal with; we have other players to sign. It is terrific that Henrik decided to stay here. If he had gone someplace else, I am sure he would’ve earned more money, but it always isn’t money that’s a factor. You have to have a competitive team.
“This organization is all about team, and Henrik is all about team. There was no ‘I’m going to leave if you don’t give me what I want,'” Sather added.
Lundqvist, 31, was previously set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2014. He debuted for the Rangers in the 2005 season and won the 2012 Vezina Trophy. Lundqvist is a three-time All-Star.
“It feels great to get this opportunity to play for one team my entire career, an organization I care so much for. I’m just super-excited about it.” Lundqvist told WFAN’s Mike Francesa. “As a player, to come into New York you talk to, obviously, guys who played for other teams and they come in and say, well, they really treat you well. It starts from the top, from Mr. Dolan to Mr. Sather, the support you get there and how they treat you, that’s a great feeling for a player.”
Head coach Alain Vigneault said he noticed a more relaxed Lundqvist after the deal was completed.
“You could tell today, it was a relief for Hank to finally know for sure he’d be a New York Ranger for the rest of his career,” Vigneault told reporters.
Teammate Ryan McDonagh said he was pleased to see Lundqvist’s future taken care of.
“Everyone in here knows what Hank means,” McDonagh told reporters. “Now a big piece of the puzzle is done.”
Lundqvist is 8-11 with a 2.51 goals-against average with a .917 save percentage in 20 appearances this season. He is 284-182-57 with a 2.26 GAA, .920 save percentage and 47 shutouts in his career.
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