Since questions began, regarding Henrik Lundqvist's contract extension, the Rangers goaltender has said he will not allow it to become a distraction during the season.
With the Rangers season beginning tonight in Phoenix, it looks like if a deal can be reached it won't be until next summer. Here's Lundqvist yesterday (via New York Post)…
“For me, all my focus is going to be on hockey; on the game and winning,” Lundqvist said before the Blueshirts’ flight to Phoenix for Thursday’s season-opener. “That’s all I care about.
“If the Rangers and my representatives talk, that’s fine, but me personally, I am not going to get involved.”
Lundqvist added that the above quote was the last reporters were going to hear from him on this matter.
…i'm assuming if the Rangers come to his agent with an 8-year, $80 million contract offer, he'll get involved very quickly, so I think this is a little gamesmanship on Lundqvist's part.
…as if there wasn't enough pressure on Vigneault to step in and contend for a Stanley Cup in year one, now he has the added weight of trying to keep the team competitive enough so that his All World goaltender wants to return next season. Because, I tell you what, if Hank doesn't like what he sees this season, he's going to bolt.
Brooks adds the sides are believed separated on both contract length and dollars, with Lundqvist, who will turn 32 in March, seeking the maximum eight-year term allowed under the collective bargaining agreement for at least $8.5 million per.
Speaking of key Rangers free agents, Brooks says that Ryan Callahan could attract offers of seven years at between $6 million and $7 million per as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
“I have no problem talking during the season,” the captain, who will turn 29 in March, told The Post. “But as soon as it becomes a distraction or gets into my head, that’s when I’ll end it.
“I’m going to keep an open mind. But I love it here and want to be here.”
…does anyone else not like hearing Callahan say he's going to "keep an open mind?" Sounds a lot like what Lundqvist was saying during break-up day last May.
…i love both Hank and Cally, but I'm trying to figure out what's more insane, spending $68 million over eight years for a 32-year old goaltender or $49 million over seven years for a player who's never made it through an entire 82-game season.
Speaking of Callahan, Alain Vigneault says this about his captain's shoulder…
“I think he’s close. He’s been working extremely hard. He’s been putting in a lot of time in his rehab. He hasn’t missed a beat in our practices for the last three weeks. He says he feels 100 percent. He’s real close to being able to help us during games.”
…100%? I like the sound of that.