6:10PM: Bob McKenzie said on TSN Drive, “If you look at the Rangers in any degree of success, he is the reason that they are that. I am sure it’s more years and a little more money than they wanted to give him, but I think they were starting to recognize that they were getting into shaky territory. Lundqvist isn’t playing terrible but it’s a bad goal every other game. There is a theory that the contract was starting to weigh on his mind and there is no margin for error with the Rangers because they don’t score a lot of goals. It’s a real impotent offense. I think the Rangers thought that the worst case scenario is that he plays poorly, walks himself to UFA and someone will sign him for a lot of money and we will be left with a hole that we can’t fill. For a team that needs it’s goalie to be out of this world most nights, hopefully he will get it back. “
In the press release, Rangers President and GM Glen Sather said the following about Lundqvist:
“Since his arrival in New York in 2005, Henrik has consistently been one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL. He is a proud representative of the tradition and class of this organization and we are excited to have him remain as a cornerstone of the franchise.”
NEW YORK, December 4, 2013 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on a contract extension.
“Since his arrival in New York in 2005, Henrik has consistently been one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL,” said Sather. “He is a proud representative of the tradition and class of this organization and we are excited to have him remain as a cornerstone of the franchise.”
Lundqvist, 31, has been voted a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s top goaltender in five of his eight NHL seasons, having won the award following the 2011-12 season. The seven-time Rangers’ MVP entered the season as the only NHL goaltender with an active streak of eight straight 20-win seasons, and holds the league record for most consecutive 30-win seasons to begin his career with seven straight. He is also a two-time Olympian (2006, 2010) and an Olympic Gold Medalist, having captured a gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.
In 531 career appearances, Lundqvist has posted a record of 284-182-57, along with a 2.26 goals against average, .920 save percentage, and 47 shutouts. He ranks fifth in shutouts and sixth in wins among active goaltenders, and ranks second in both shutouts and wins in franchise history.
Lundqvist is 8-11-0 with a 2.51 goals against average, .917 save percentage, and two shutouts in 20 appearances this season. Last season, he finished tied for the league lead with 24 wins en route to being selected as a Second Team NHL All-Star. He became the first Rangers goaltender to lead the league in wins since Mike Richter in 1993-94, and, on April 5 at Pittsburgh, became just the fourth Rangers goalie to appear in 500 career contests. In the playoffs, Lundqvist posted shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of the Rangers’ Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against Washington to become the first NHL goaltender in 11 years to close out a seven-game playoff series with consecutive shutouts.
The three-time NHL All-Star established career-highs with 39 wins, a 1.97 goals against average, and .930 save percentage during the 2011-12 season. Lundqvist ranked third in the league in wins, tied for third in save percentage and shutouts (eight), and fourth in goals against average that season. He helped lead the Rangers to Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, posting playoff career-highs in games played (20), wins (10), shutouts (three), and goals against average (1.82). His three shutouts tied for the NHL lead, while he ranked second in goals against average during the postseason. Lundqvist was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, and selected as a First Team NHL All-Star following the season.
The Are, Sweden native was originally selected by the Rangers as a seventh round choice, 205th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut on October 8, 2005 at New Jersey, and finished his rookie season with a 30-12-9 mark, 2.24 goals against average, .922 save percentage, and two shutouts. Lundqvist was selected to the 2005-06 NHL All-Rookie Team and was third in voting for the Vezina Trophy that season, becoming the first rookie to be a finalist for the award since Jim Carey in 1995.