GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Henrik Lundqvist said he wanted to be a Ranger for life, and now he will have that chance. The Rangers announced Wednesday that Lundqvist had signed a seven-year contract extension, ending speculation that he might depart when his contract expired at the end of the N.H.L. season. “I know there’s been some speculation,” Lundqvist said at a news conference at the Rangers’ practice rink. “But from the heart, it was never an option to leave this club.” The new deal, for $59.5 million, with an $8.5 million annual salary-cap hit, makes Lundqvist the highest-paid Ranger and the highest-paid goalie in the N.H.L. It represents a significant raise from his old contract, which had a $6.875 million cap hit per year. Lundqvist turns 32 in March, meaning he will be 39 if he stays through the term of the contract, which is one year shorter than the maximum allowed by the new collective bargaining agreement. The importance of re-signing Lundqvist was underscored by the presence of the team owner James L. Dolan at the news conference. Dolan, who rarely attends functions pertaining to hockey matters but who is a lifelong Rangers fan, called Lundqvist “a model of what you want in a player” and said he was pleased that Lundqvist would wear Rangers blue for the rest of his career. Lundqvist, known for his sense of style — on this occasion, he was impeccably dressed in a well-tailored suit — smiled as he stood alongside General Manager Glen Sather. “He’s a great guy, he’s a great competitor, he’s great in the magazines, and we’re excited to have him here,” Sather said. “So it’s up to you, Henrik — now just carry us on your shoulders.” Sather’s assessment was an accurate measure of how vital Lundqvist has been to the Rangers since coming from Sweden in 2005. In some of his eight seasons, he almost single-handedly willed the Rangers into the playoffs. He has been named the team’s most valuable player seven times. Lundqvist, the N.H.L.’s most consistently excellent goalie, has won a Vezina Trophy and was a finalist for the award four other times, and he has finished among the top 10 in save percentage six times. He also won an Olympic gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, and will be his country’s No. 1 goalie at the Games in February in Sochi, Russia. But the Stanley Cup has eluded him. “I really want to win a Cup here in New York,” Lundqvist said. “It’s my biggest goal and my biggest dream.” The re-signing came after a minor controversy this week. Coach Alain Vigneault started the backup Cam Talbot in a second straight game in a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. It was the first time a healthy Lundqvist had sat out two straight games since the 2010-11 season. But on Wednesday, Vigneault seemed to have put that experiment in the past. “What do they say — happy wife, happy life?” Vigneault said. “Happy goalie, happy team.” Asked if he had decided who would play goal in the Rangers’ game at Buffalo on Thursday, Vigneault said it was “pretty obvious I’m going with Hank.” After a shaky start this season, Lundqvist has registered a .930 save percentage in his last 13 appearances. But he has continued to allow the occasional soft goal and expressed dissatisfaction with his performance. He said again Wednesday that the contract talks were not a factor in his play this season. “During the summer, I probably thought about it every day, and going into training camp it was definitely there,” Lundqvist said. “When it didn’t happen, for a couple days it was on my mind. But then I let it go.” Sather said he was talking with the representatives for the seven pending unrestricted free agents still on the roster: the captain Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle, Taylor Pyatt, Dominic Moore and Benoit Pouliot. “In my mind, Henrik was the one that had to be signed first,” Sather said. Lundqvist’s new contract eats up significant salary-cap space and could make it difficult to re-sign Callahan, who makes $4.275 million in his expiring contract, and Girardi, a top defenseman, who makes $3.325 million. A $4.9 billion Canadian television contract signed last week with Rogers Communications is expected to provide more cap space in coming seasons. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/sports/rangers-sign-lundqvist-to-seven-year-extension.html
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on a contract extension. “Since his arrival in New York in 2005, Henrik has consistently been one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL,” said Sather. “He is a proud representative of the tradition and class of this organization and we are excited to have him remain as a cornerstone of the franchise.” Lundqvist, 31, has been voted a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s top goaltender in five of his eight NHL seasons, having won the award following the 2011-12 season. The seven-time Rangers’ MVP entered the season as the only NHL goaltender with an active streak of eight straight 20-win seasons, and holds the league record for most consecutive 30-win seasons to begin his career with seven straight. He is also a two-time Olympian (2006, 2010) and an Olympic Gold Medalist, having captured a gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. In 531 career appearances, Lundqvist has posted a record of 284-182-57, along with a 2.26 goals against average, .920 save percentage, and 47 shutouts. He ranks fifth in shutouts and sixth in wins among active goaltenders, and ranks second in both shutouts and wins in franchise history. Lundqvist is 8-11-0 with a 2.51 goals against average, .917 save percentage, and two shutouts in 20 appearances this season. Last season, he finished tied for the league lead with 24 wins en route to being selected as a Second Team NHL All-Star. He became the first Rangers goaltender to lead the league in wins since Mike Richter in 1993-94, and, on April 5 at Pittsburgh, became just the fourth Rangers goalie to appear in 500 career contests. In the playoffs, Lundqvist posted shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of the Rangers’ Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against Washington to become the first NHL goaltender in 11 years to close out a seven-game playoff series with consecutive shutouts. The three-time NHL All-Star established career-highs with 39 wins, a 1.97 goals against average, and .930 save percentage during the 2011-12 season. Lundqvist ranked third in the league in wins, tied for third in save percentage and shutouts (eight), and fourth in goals against average that season. He helped lead the Rangers to Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, posting playoff career-highs in games played (20), wins (10), shutouts (three), and goals against average (1.82). His three shutouts tied for the NHL lead, while he ranked second in goals against average during the postseason. Lundqvist was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, and selected as a First Team NHL All-Star following the season. The Are, Sweden native was originally selected by the Rangers as a seventh round choice, 205th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut on October 8, 2005 at New Jersey, and finished his rookie season with a 30-12-9 mark, 2.24 goals against average, .922 save percentage, and two shutouts. Lundqvist was selected to the 2005-06 NHL All-Rookie Team and was third in voting for the Vezina Trophy that season, becoming the first rookie to be a finalist for the award since Jim Carey in 1995.