NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Rangers made it official on Wednesday morning, announcing that the organization made the decision to buy out the final year of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist‘s contract.
The move ends a 15-year relationship between the team and Lundqvist and makes the 38-year-old a free agent.
“Few players have been as important to the Rangers franchise as Henrik Lundqvist, and we are incredibly grateful for all he has done for our organization,” James L. Dolan, the executive chairman of MSG Sports said in a press release. “Over his 15-year tenure, he not only established himself as one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game, he has also been one of hockey’s fiercest competitors and most effective ambassadors. He will always be a part of the Rangers family.”
THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!
15 years ago, I played my first game for @NYRangers I came here with high hopes and big dreams but in my wildest imagination, I could never have pictured the amazing ride that lay ahead.. pic.twitter.com/uo0HJMZnCj
— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) September 30, 2020
Lundqvist played in 887 games over the course of his time the team, amassing a record of 459-310-96 and a 2.43 goals-against average. He was named an All-Star five times and won the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league’s top goalie, in 2011-12. In addition, Lundqvist finished in the Top 10 of the Vezina voting in 10 of his 15 seasons.
For a legend.
For representing the Rangers with class and dignity.
For loving our city unconditionally.
For saving the day, time and again.
For giving it all – always.
For 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 New York sports.
For a lifetime of memories.
For you, HEN-RIK. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/OQ4v7ClsZp
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 30, 2020
Lundqvist leaves the Rangers as the holder of 50 franchise records including wins, shutouts, save percentage, playoff wins, and playoff shutouts. With Lundqvist in net, the Rangers made the playoffs 11 times in 12 seasons from 2005-06 through 2016-17. He ranks sixth on the league’s all-time wins list, eighth on the appearances list and 16th on the all-time shutouts list.
“We would like to thank Henrik for his immeasurable contributions to the New York Rangers,” Rangers president and alternate governor John Davidson said in a statement. “From the time I met Henrik when he first came to New York in 2005, he has been the consummate professional. His tireless work ethic, passion for the game, and love of the Rangers and New York City enabled him to become one of the greatest goaltenders in hockey and one of the best players in the history of our franchise. We all wish Henrik and his family the best going forward.”
With the team moving on from Lundqvist, the path has been cleared for 24-year-old Igor Shesterkin to become the undisputed No. 1 between the pipes.
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