Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that Henrik Lundqvist's contract negotiations with the Rangers aren't believed to have gotten very far at all over the last couple of months.
Brooks adds that he can't remember another time in which a star player such as Lundqvist has had such a hard time extending his contract.
…i'm obviously not involved with the negotiations nor do I have any sources close to them, but you have to wonder if Sather is on the same page as so many Rangers fans who feel giving Lundqvist anymore than six-years would be the height of stupidity in the salary cap era. Fascinating to see Sather take such a hard line on Lundqvist's contract, to the point he almost seems disinterested in getting a deal done.
…and here's a crazy thought for you. Since contract extension talks were initiated, we all felt it would be Lundqvist who needed to evaluate the direction of the team under AV before agreeing to commit the remainder of his career to the Rangers. But maybe we had it all wrong and it's Sather who's waiting out the results of the season.
…it's no secret that despite all of Lundqvist's personal success in the regular season, the Rangers have more or less been a mediocre team his entire career. So, with 14 contracts expiring at the end of the season, the salary cap likely increasing next year and Brad Richards all but assured to be bought out, if there ever was a time for Sather to blow up the team and start from scratch this coming summer would be it.
…will be real interesting if the Rangers are still meddling around the .500 mark at the trade deadline, whether Sather will start unloading expiring contracts such as Lundqvist, Callahan and Girardi in an attempt to stockpile young talent and draft picks to start a rebuild.
…on the other hand, if Lundqvist is able to regain his Vezina Trophy winning form and the Rangers use Saturday's victory against the Canucks as a springboard for a real run at knocking the Penguins from atop of the Metropolitan Division, then I think you'll see a deal struck before the end of the season.
…and then there's the wild card, as this whole Talbot situation has the chance to throw a real monkey wrench into the organization's thought process on Lundqvist. Especially if AV and Sather both decide the 26-year old goaltender gives the Rangers the best chance to win this season.