What John Davidson said on MSG about Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal

Rangers President John Davidson was on MSG and said:

  • On the Henrik Lundqvist decision, “Both players, when you think about Marc Staal and Henrik, we were sitting and talking about it as, combined, almost 30-years of service for the Rangers and both of them playing with a great deal of compassion, competitiveness, won a Presidents Trophy, have gotten to a Stanley Cup Final. These are the type of things you really have to weigh when you make these decisions, these are the hardest to make. You have to sit here and look at it and say, “we’ve gotta do what we have to do, the cap is different, it’s going to be flat for three-years, there are young people going through this build and everything adds up. All in all, it’s about what they did for the Rangers. They will always be Rangers, great Rangers. With Hank, when you are called the “King,” you are called that for a reason. We have good relationships with both players, we will continue that way and anything they need, we are there for them and we just have to keep moving, going north.”
  • On having a personal relationship with Hank, “the first time I ever saw Henrik Lundqvist play, it was at the training center, in training center, his first day. The media have a certain area at ice level, 30 feet from where Henrik is in goal, and I said to myself ‘this guy is good, this guy is really good.’ You could see it in the first five minutes and then he went onto an incredible career with the Rangers. When it’s goalie-goalie you talk a little about things here and there and when it gets down to these types of decisions, I really like that Hank asked me to go have a discussion with him, and we did. It was very honest with both people involved about thoughts and ideas and future and the one thing I really respected about what Hank said was ‘wherever this goes, I just want to make sure, whatever my decision is, that I don’t have any regrets. That is a great way of looking at things. With us, we have to make these hard decisions, it’s part of the business. I’ve thought about athletes in New York, Tom Seaver went on and left, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, a lot of great athletes in this City, some of them went on and played, Eli Manning didn’t play for another organization, some did. The player had to make that determination in his own heart and feelings and I know Henrik is going to really weigh things as he moves forward.”
  • Did you seek out any advice on what to do, “When you go through these decisions you try and weigh every single option that is available to us. You work with Hank, Hank works with his family, Hank has his agency that he works with and he believes in their help. Everyone gets together and makes this decision. We have Chris Drury here, Jeff Gorton here, the coaching staff, the owner, Jim Dolan, he has immense respect for Hank. All these things have to weigh and a lot of times you get a ledger sheet and go through pros and cons and just try to weigh them and make these tough decisions and hopefully they are right ones. All I know is, this organization and Hank, the marriage is still going. It’s an incredible marriage and when you think Rangers, you think NYC and what Hank has been able to do in NYC and the NY area, helping people, making life better for a lot of different people. That is something that will continue. The hockey part of it is changed right now but I think the big picture is what you try to look at. I have immense, really immense respect for what Hank has been able to do. He’s been skating here at the training center and taking shots with a lot of our young and older players who want to work on their conditioning and do things. Hank can come up any time he wants to the training center and work out, take shots. It’s still a good marriage.”
  • On what stands out about Marc Staal, “Whenever you talk about Marc Staal, the word that comes up with a lot of different people is ‘warrior.” He was a warrior, a lot of fans, I don’t think realize, when you play the way he did all those years, you play banged up and hurt and nicked up and bruised and some injuries that are tough. He toughed his way through all of those. He also, over this last year I got to know him a little better and what he meant to the franchise. There is leadership value there too and that is something he will always have as part of his resume, wherever he plays hockey or whatever he’s doing. He’s a good man, plays the right way, cares about people and he has that ability to be a voice.”