It appears that we're nearing the end of an era in New York Rangers hockey.
According to a report from TSN hockey insider Frank Seravalli, Rangers franchise icon Henrik Lundqvist is "likely heading for a buyout" once the offseason officially begins late next week.
Check it out:
New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist is likely heading for a buyout, which makes for $12 million total in dead space, counting Kevin Shattenkirk’s buyout. That reduces GM Jeff Gorton’s spending power to nearly $68 million, which is why big-ticket RFAs Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome are Trade Bait.
If indeed Lundqvist gets bought out of the final year of his contract, the Rangers will roll the dice on youngsters Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev moving forward. Not a bad move given the Shesterkin's and Georgiev's upside, but still a difficult pill for Rangers fans to swallow after 15 years of King Henrik in the Big Apple. Lundqvist played just 30 games for the Rangers this season, the least amount of games played in any season during his NHL career, and frankly he didn't look great in those 30 games. He posted a 3.16 goals against average and .905 save percentage. It was by far the worst season statistically of Lundqvist's career. Unfortunately, it appears that the 38 year old netminder just doesn't have the same ability that he used to.
But, while this may be the end of the road for Lundqvist in New York, don't be surprised if another team takes a crack at him in free agency. Here's one to keep in your back pocket and I'll admit that I'm purely pulling this own rumour out of my own hat, but watch out for the Washington Capitals. With 23 year old Ilya Samsonov expected to take over starting duties and with Braden Holtby expected to hit the open market as a free agent, I feel like Lundqvist would be the perfect security blanket for the Capitals. Plus, there's also the possibility of the Capitals being a major Stanley Cup contender in 2020-21. Don't be fooled by their weak post-season this year, the Capitals are still a very legit team. Don't forget that they won the Metropolitan Divison and were on an absolute heater when the league shut down in March due to COVID-19.