New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist has officially ended his reign in the Big Apple as of Wednesday, Sept. 30 when the blueshirts bought him out of his contract. The contract, which was agreed upon in 2013, was for a whopping $59.5 million, according to the National Hockey League’s official website.
There is no doubt that Lundqvist is one of the greatest athletes to ever grace the ice of Madison Square Garden, and his contribution to the Rangers’ franchise is immeasurable. He leads the organization in over 50 categories, some of which include being the goaltender with the most shutouts, time on ice, starts, saves, games and points by a goalie. The Swedish goalie’s overall record is 459-310-96 in 887 games played. With a goals against average of 2.43 goals over his 15 seasons in New York, Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy for being the best goaltender in the league during the 2011-12 season. Although he has only hoisted the Vezina once before, he was a finalist for the trophy in four other seasons.
The five-time NHL All-Star has not announced retirement, to the dismay of Rangers fans who hoped that he’d be a career-long member of the team. Lundqvist, who is now 38, may sign with another team when free-agency opens on Oct. 9. He certainly won’t be a cheap addition to any roster, but his skill is well worth the pretty penny necessary to lock down this man in net. He tops the league’s leaderboards, as the athlete with the eighth most NHL appearances, the number six spot on the NHL’s all-time win’s list and in sixteenth place on the league’s list of all time shutouts.
Hockey faithfuls will truly miss seeing ‘The King’ in red, white and blue, but his legacy will live on forever in the hallowed halls of the Garden. There is no doubt that this legend will have his number hung in the rafters of MSG following the conclusion of his professional career, so until then, his adoring fans will surely cheer him on wherever he may choose to continue his career.