With an excess of goaltenders and a need for cap space, Henrik Lundqvist's time with the New York Rangers may be coming to an end after 15 years on Broadway.
Rangers president John Davidson did not disclose details but said he had a "personal discussion" with the 38-year-old after the team was eliminated from the qualifying round in three games by the Carolina Hurricanes last week.
"Knowing the professional individual that 'Hank' is, I can tell you that when we got off the plane back from Toronto, I did have a discussion with him," Davidson said, per NHL.com. "It was a personal discussion; we'll leave it at that. We will continue having our discussions to figure out what avenues we're going to take as we move forward. We'll handle things the right way and just move forward with this."
The Rangers carried three goalies from January onward this season with Lundqvist competing for starts with Alexandar Georgiev and rookie Igor Shesterkin.
Lundqvist started just five games after the calendar turned to 2020 after making 21 starts in the first three months of the season. The Rangers however turned to the veteran for the first two games of their best-of-five series against Carolina, with Lundqvist allowing seven goals on a total of 71 shots over the two losses. Shesterkin got the start in Game 3, allowing three goals on 30 shots in a 4-1 loss.
For the regular season, Lundqvist finished with a 10-12-3 record with a .905 save percentage and a 3.16 goals-against average. Georgiev went 17-14-2 with a .910 save percentage and a 3.04 GAA, while Shesterkin posted a sparkling 10-2 record upon joining the team with a .932 save percentage and a 2.52 GAA.
A five-time All-Star, Lundqvist is signed through next season at an $8.5 million cap hit. The Rangers currently are projected to have a total of $13.5 million in cap space this off-season, tied up in 16 players, with Georgiev, Anthony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux and Ryan Strome all entering restricted free agency.
"It's pretty obvious the scenarios that could happen here with our goaltending, but to have an answer for you today, I don't have that answer, we don't have that answer," Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said. "We can all look at our cap and wonder what's next, what we're going to do? That's what we're going to go through. Usually we'll have our meetings, we'll talk to our scouts, we'll talk to our coaches. We're in the process of talking, going through our exit meetings via Zoom. We're doing all these things now and the cap is certainly on our mind. We'll work through it. Reasonable questions, but answers we don't have right now."
Lundqvist, the 2012 Vezina Trophy winner, has a full no-move clause in his contract.