10:48AM: Lundqvist’s agent Don Meehan told Pierre LeBrun that it’s “to be determined” whether Lundqvist will continue to play.
10:01AM: The Rangers have announced that they have officially bought out the final-year of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract.
The following statements were released as part of the announcement:
Rangers owner James Dolan said: “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. 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.”
Rangers President John Davidson said: “We would like to thank Henrik for his immeasurable contributions to the New York Rangers. 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.”
Lundqvist had one-year left on his contract and a cap hit of $8.5 million.
The buyout will save the Rangers $3 million in cap space but they will still have a cap charge of $5.5 million this season and $1.5 million next season.
Adam Rotter: There are nearly 20 pages for Henrik Lundqvist in the Rangers 2019-20 media guide, and that should say everything about the player who has been the face of the Rangers for the last 15-or-so years. He’s meant everything to the Rangers on and off the ice, and in the community, since coming over from Sweden and now it’s all over.
I expected Glen Sather to also have a statement, in addition to James Dolan and John Davidson, as part of the release as well as some acknowledgement, even though it’s obvious, that no Ranger will ever wear #30 again. In any case, Henrik Lundqvist’s time as a New York Ranger is over. Hopefully this isn’t too personal for Lundqvist and that over time he, like Brian Leetch and Adam Graves, can re-join the Rangers in some capacity after a breakup. Mark Messier returned from his breakup to play four-more seasons, and then serve as an advisor to Glen Sather for a few years, but returning as a player doesn’t seem likely. The real hope is that Lundqvist is back working with the Rangers and can provide help, in player development, in hockey ops or another area, and be part of the overall group that does bring the Stanley Cup back to MSG.