Bob McKenzie at TSN reports that with Glen Sather in Toronto for Hockey Hall of Fame/GM meetings, the expectation is there will be extension talks with Henrik Lundqvist's agent Don Meehan this week.
...my opinion on the Lundqvist extension talks haven't changed. The Rangers would be out of their minds to offer a contract longer than six years. I'd be fine with a larger cap hit ($8 million per) if it ensures a shorter term. Would be highly irresponsible for Sather to be paying a 39-year old goaltender top dollar.
...and for those of you wondering how Talbot's strong start to the season influences these negotiations, they don't. I refuse to believe that four starts into the career of a 26-year old backup can impact Lundqvist's contract talks. Plain and simple, it's going to come down to money.
...i also think Lundqvist is way more willing to re-sign with the Rangers now than he was three weeks ago. Winning cures all.
Jim, the points you raise would have to be addressed by Hank directly. I'm sure he has loyalty to the organization, but $$ and winning are the bottom line. I'm not sure respect enters into the equation, but I could be wrong. If Hank needs to win a Cup, it is not with this team right now. We just aren't there, yet. Sorry. If it's about money, the Rangers have treated him well, but we can't afford to overpay him, either. Separately, we should be happy? I don't think so, though that may be a matter of perspective and age. I've seen one Cup in my 58 years. I'm not happy at all. I've seen a few near misses and many more seasons end in disaster, like last year. Again, you raise some good/interesting points. How they play out will be fun to watch.... I hope.
No where in any of these discussions have I heard anything about what Lundqvist wants, just guesses and opinions. Maybe this is a lot less complicated than we think it is.
Based on the new CBA and Recapture Rules for contracts of 7 years or more, I think that Sather has to stick to 6 years, and play with the dollars to make it work. I agree that this team needs more money to build up to more of a contender, but winning teams start from the goal line out. Either Nash or Richards will be gone this offseason (my vote is for Nash, quite frankly), and Hank will still be our goalie. It's that simple. This team will go back to being a laughing stock without him. We'll make the Devils and Sabres look good.
During the Pens game last week, it was either Eddie or Doc who hit the nail on the head: 10 minutes in we could have been down 2-0 or 3-0, but Hank kept us in it and that why you pay him. He was the difference.
Cam Talbot is going to be a solid backup, but that's it. He's beaten the Blue Jackets, the Red Wings, and the Islanders, and lost to the Flyers. None of those teams are top 3 in their division. He's good, but he's not going to pitch back to back shutouts against Alex Ovechkin in the playoffs to clinch a series. Not gonna happen.
Going back to my first point, I know Hank doesn't want to be involved, but I truly believe Sather needs to sit Hank down and lay it out plain and simple: Option A: an extension at his current salary keeps Richards and Nash and allows the team the ability to improve its roster. Option B: $8+/mil a year, but either one of those two guys is gone, or you're back stopping a team thats half NHL'ers and half AHL'ers...
I would think that as long as the team is competitive (and I think we are though certainly not elite) and has the tools to win that he should focus on getting a contract he can live with. The notion that he would focus on jumping to the team he thinks has the best chance to get a cup with is lame in my opinion. Hopefully he has more class than that and will focus on bringing his team the cup.
This will be an unpopular opinion, but I'm in the "trade Hank" camp. I look at these teams in the West and they're 3 and 4 lines deep with skilled players. That's how you win in today's NHL. Move Hank for a high round pick + a top line forward and use the cap space to sign another goalie and even more depth. I like the make-up of this team right now, the young guys are fun to watch, but I think we can all agree that they are not a championship quality team, even with Nash. They need a few more pieces and only have one way to get them given their current financial situation....
Why would he be insane to offer anything longer than six years? Lundqvist is going to be 32 at the start of this contract, has he not proved to the organization that he deserves a lifetime deal. Give him 8 at $60, which is a slightly less AAV than he could get on the open market, (if he keeps playing the way he is now he's going to get offers of $8-$8.5 AAV), it gives the Rangers a bit of flexibility and keeps Lundqvist in the fold until he's ready for retirement at 40. And anybody who worries that he might not be able to perform through the end of the deal, remember, Brodeur is 43 and just pitched back to back shutouts last week. I think the Rangers are smart to let this play out for a bit more, be sure that his game is still in top form with the system change, which he is quickly proving it is, and then around Xmas, get it done. But, crazy to offer more than 6 years, not at all...
Think 7 years and 55 million gets It done. That being said, there is plenty of time, so sather is going to play a little hardball, and offer 6 years 45 to start, but I think it goes up to 7 years for sure
Agree totally with the six years - look at how the long-term contracts are handcuffing teams making moves. At least Brad Richards came off life support - Detroit is not only stuck w/Johan Franzen - the laziest hockey player ever - for 7 years, it came to light the other day they offered Filippula, their unproductive 2nd center, 7 years this past off season for reasons I cannot grasp!!! Hard to imagine a guy like that getting that kind of offer and the Rangers holding tight with Lundqvist, but they would be far smarter to hold to six. Those long terms have to go.
Mr Rich- JMHO, but I would think that Hank would want to resign out of respect. We drafted him in what round? NY made him what he is now. Who knows what he would have been, but we have had a few good runs and he got his Vez. We may not have the team this year, but with some tweaks, including a buyout (or trade) of Richards and dumping non contributors such as Pyatt /Pouliot/ DMoore, we can fix some of our holes. The Sedins signed for well under their worth. If Hank really wants to win a cup badly, he can do the same and give us the cap room. How much $ does one need in a lifetime? After his careers done, he would be still loved by all Ranger fans. If he forgets about loyalty then his loyal fans will forget about him and end up hating him for the hole he would leave our franchise. Also, I imagine that part of Torts' firing had to do with Hank. So we got a new coach and all should be happy. LGR!
I don't know, Kevin. It's an interesting question. Does Hank feel better? Sure, how could he not? But I suspect he looks at things (or maybe not) the way some of us fans do. Sure, I love the wins against Detroit and Pittsburgh (especially the latter), but we beat a lot of bad teams along the way, and we lost to the best of the West. Are the Rangers good enough to compete for a Cup right now? JMHO.... no way. Even when Nash (hopefully) returns, this team may have just enough to eek into the playoffs. If this is the case, is this the team Hank wants before he signs a LT deal, especially if he is serious about winning a Cup? I wouldn't think so. Again, JMHO.
Agree with six years. Lundqvist is a great goalie.There are outstanding goalies going to be available during the next six years in the market and the draft, maybe not as great as Lundqvist but outstanding. It is fairly likely Rangers can sign one or two of these if they scout well and make the effort.We don't have to sink or swim with Henrik.That said, he's a hockey great and would be nice to have as our goaltender.however ,6 years is about it.
I'm unsure about your third point, Kevin. The Rangers clearly are playing better hockey, but are they playing well enough to be a serious contender? That's the question Hank must wrestle with right now.
@JoeSmith It can't be that simple, otherwise it would have been settled in the meetings that they had on the 3 day layover in NYC between the end of the preseason and the first game in Phoenix.
@Chris M I wouldn't be 100% against it if contract talks completely broke down around the trade deadline, but it would depend on the package they would get in return and obviously who the Rangers would be targeting to replace him.
@Michael Barton 1. Brodeur is in a party of, what, 1-2 who have performed at a high level in their late thirties, as opposed to say....EVERY other goalie that has ever played? Do you think betting your teams limited resource on a 1% chance is a good bet?
2. No one "deserves" anything for past service. That is thinking with your heart. Believe me players and management think with their heads - which are filled with dollar signs.
@James Attard Sorry bud, entitled to your own opinions of course, but that's garbage. NY did not make him what he is now. He made himself what he is now. This is the same old argument that fans love to use when it comes to re-signing players. How can a player betray loyalty and not take a pay cut when his contract expires? And when a great player deteriorates with age, as Hank will, we're so fast to forget how quickly GMs, good GMs anyway, would NEVER say hey, let me OVERPAY this fella because he's been so loyal to us. See Brian Leetch. See Derek Jeter. The notion that the NYR made Henrik Lundqvist is garbage. The guy is an all-world goalie, and we were LUCKY to have plucked him up when we did. Someone would have. And he would've won a Vezina anyway. Hell, he may have even won a Cup by now. Do not expect him to resign out of "respect", that notion is nonsense. The guy wants, and deserves, a cup. He'll go where he thinks he has the best chance of winning one.
But he is seeing the system work. Hank also needs to look at the team situation with free agents, because remember basically the whole team will be reformed in the next two years with free agents. So being a serious contender this year is no matter, he needs Sathers plan for the next 6 years.
@Kevin DeLury @Chris M Agree totally. I'm in the trade Hank camp, but not in the trade Hank for nothing camp. I would assume that if we decide to trade our franchise goalie it's because we're getting blown away by a crazy return package. Regarding Josh's comment below, if we're a fringe playoff team I don't think a trade should be off the table.
@Kevin DeLury @Chris M If we trade Hank, these two things absolutely must happen: A) We're officially out of the playoff race, and B) Contract talks completely blow up. If only one of the two happen, we better not trade him. If we're out of the playoffs but contract talks are going well, keep him. If we're in the playoff race and contract talks blow up, still keep him and deal with the ramifications of keeping him later. In no way do we jeopardize this teams possible run for a Stanley Cup. The only way we trade our best player is if both of those things happen.
@boogiepicker Yeah. Pretty much all that. Hank doesn't have to do anything "out of respect." If he chooses to, then great, awesome! But he doesn't have to do jack if he feels this isn't the team that will get him to the cup.
@Chris M @Kevin DeLury I'm in the trade Hank regardless camp (camp of one). Long term contracts to players over 30 ALWAYS hamper a team's ability to improve other areas. Plus more than any other position a goalie's performance will be exposed due to the SLIGHTEST drop in reflex, or agility due to age. Get a great return on him from a team that just needs him to make a run. That is the way to do business. Plus...if your hellbent on doing something stupid like giving a goalie a top dollar contract well into his late thirties you can always sign Hank as an UFA after the season. Not trading Hank at the deadline is inane.