It was one of the worst-kept secrets of the 2020 NHL free agency period. The moment the New York Rangers bought out the contract of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, everyone knew, if Lundqvist was to return, it would be with a contender. The second Lundqvist hinted he wanted to come back for another season, all fingers pointed to the Washington Capitals.
On Friday morning before the free agency period opened up, TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted:
“If, as expected, the one-year deal is $1.5M, it would be fitting. That would make Lundqvist “whole” on $4.5M salary he was scheduled to get for 20-21. $3M of it would be in his buyout from the Rangers (paid out over two years) but $1.5M would top him back up to $4.5M total.”
In the end, the deal worked out to be for one year and worth $1.5 million.
Lundqvist Deal Not About Money
This deal wasn’t about money. Lundqvist has already made a ton of it and his buy out guarantees he’ll make a ton more. It was about a chance to win a Stanley Cup that has eluded the sure-to-be Hall of Famer since he arrived in the NHL.
Only ever having played with the Rangers organization, it’s going to be different seeing Lundqvist in another jersey, but a lot of that is happening this offseason and if there’s a team that might given him the chance to win it all, Washington is as good as any.
He’ll back-up Ilya Samsonov and for Samsonov, there couldn’t be a better mentor in the crease alongside him taking him to the next level in his already strong game.
And, Lundqvist can still play. He’s a low-risk, high-reward move for the Capitals and could turn out to be one of the smartest move in this year’s NHL free agency period.
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