Today makes the end of an era for the New York Rangers.
The team has announced that they've bought out the final year of Henrik Lundqvist's contract, ending his 15 year career with the team and making him an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his professional career.
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"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," said James L. Dolan, Executive Chairman, MSG Sports. "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."
"We would like to thank Henrik for his immeasurable contributions to the New York Rangers," Rangers President and Alternate Governor John Davidson said. "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 has appeared in 887 career NHL games, all with the Rangers over the past 15 season. He has posted a 459-310-96 record, along with a 2.43 goals against average, a .918 save percentage and 64 shutouts. He holds over 50 Rangers franchise records including the all time records for wins, games played by a goaltender, shutouts, save percentage, playoff games, playoff wins, playoff shutouts and playoff save percentage. In short, he's the best goalie in Rangers' history and, frankly, the competition isn't even close. In terms of hardware Lundqvist has a Vezina Trophy and was a finalist for the award in four other seasons. He's a five time NHL All-Star and, again, he's simply the best goaltender the Rangers have ever had. Today is truly the end of an era in New York Rangers hockey.