6:59PM: Larry Brooks writes that the buyout is expected to occur on Wednesday. (NY Post)
Dreger said “unfortunately for Henrik Lundqvist there will be a separation from the New York Rangers by form of that buyout. It’s an easy story to follow. The Rangers made it clear they weren’t going with a three goalie system and Henrik Lundqvist at 38-years of age and as decorated of a goaltender as he is with the New York Rangers organization, the time has come for the two sides to separate and I believe that the Rangers, perhaps as early as Wednesday, will announce that they have moved forward with the buyout of the final-year of the contract of Henrik Lundqvist. This will now come easy to the Rangers given eveyrthing that Lundqvist has provided to the organization. This was a tough decision but a decision that has to be made moving forward.
Lundqvist has one-year left on his contract at $8.5 million.
The buyout will gain $3 million in cap space from the buyout but still have a cap hit of $5.5 million this season and $1.5 million next season.
Following the Rangers loss to Carolina, John Davidson said “I had a good chat with him when we got off the plane out of Toronto. It was a discussion we had, we will continue the dialogue. He’s gone home, back to Sweden. His representative Donnie Meehan is a good man. We will talk and see where we go. We made it clear that we aren’t carrying three goalies next year. We gotta figure out what we are going to do, figure it out with all of our goalies, keep the communication open. Just started getting into the process now so this will take some time and we will be respectful of everyone.”
Lundqvist intends to keep playing in the NHL.
Adam Rotter: Just because it’s been expected it’s no less jarring, at least to me, that the Rangers are actually going to do this. Hockey-wise it’s the right move. The Rangers have been Igor Shesterkin’s team since the moment he was called up and a duo with him and Alex Georgiev will set the Rangers up nicely in goal for as long as they are together. They add some extra cap room and even though you’d prefer it wasn’t there, $1.5 million in dead space for 2021-22 should not hurt the Rangers that much.
Still, the fact that Lundqvist’s time with the Rangers is over is shocking. In the span of just a few days the Rangers will have moved on from their two longest tenured players, Lundqvist and Marc Staal, and officially cut nearly every tie to the last Ranger teams that were contenders. Since he came over from Sweden in 2005-06, Lundqvist has been the constant through every player move, every coach and every iteration of the Rangers. The Rangers media guide for 2019-20 dedicates nearly 20 pages just to Lundqvist and his time with the Rangers. He was named Team MVP nine times, re-wrote not just the Rangers record book but the record book for European goalies and is not just a Hall of Famer, but likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The only thing missing for Lundqvist is obvious: the Stanley Cup. He only had one chance at it and was only part of 3-4 teams that could really call themselves Stanley Cup contenders. Maybe a contender signs him and he gets one last chance but where he would be a fit remains to be seen. No other Ranger will ever wear #30 again and he will rightly take his spot in the rafters of MSG next to the other greatest Rangers of All-Time. It feels like more than the end of an era, it’s the end of…I don’t know. Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers have been one in the same for so long but after tomorrow that will no longer be the case.