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Rangers Could Offer Lundqvist Max Contract

Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that the Rangers are likely to do everything they can to re-sign Henrik Lundqvist, even if that means offering a max contract of eight years, $80 million.

Under the new CBA, a team cannot re-sign one of their own players for more than eight years.

Lundqvist is 31-years old.

…got to do, what you got to do. The Rangers franchise would literally fall apart without Lundqvist. I don't care how good a job Tom Renney did bringing the Rangers back to respectability or how Tortorella took that to another level, I'm pretty confident in saying that without Lundqvist the Rangers are likely still in a playoff drought spanning back to 1998. Every off-season we hear reports about Lundqvist's ailing knees, but I'm surprised it's not his back from carrying the Rangers franchise all these years.

…as I've stated, with Lundqvist's non-committal about re-signing, Sather's head coaching search this summer could be the single biggest decision he's ever had to make in his career. Because if things go bad next season, Lundqvist is gone. And I bet he'd take less money to go to a legit contender.

…having said that, $10 million per under the new CBA is a big chunk of change. Especially when Callahan and Girardi will be UFAs in 2014 as well. If the Rangers don't win the Cup next season, got to wonder if Sather can sit Lundqvist down and convince him that if he takes less money the Rangers will be more likely to add the missing pieces needed to hopefully bring home that elusive championship. You also have to wonder how a 38-year old Lundqvist with all the wear and tear his body will likely have taken will be worth an eight year contract. We've seen the accelerated declines of Drury and Richards, so if the Rangers do sign Lundqvist to max years we just have to hope he doesn't suffer from the same fate.

Larry Brooks at the New York Post actually gives us an interesting stat that could be used to argue against re-signing Lundqvist….

"No goaltender in NHL history ever has won his first Stanley Cup with his original team later than his sixth season in the league."

…with Lundqvist being in his eighth season with the Rangers, history is against the Blueshirts winning a Cup with The King big time. I guess there's a first time for everything. Right?

H/T to Brian Stubits at CBS Sports and reader Fleisch14 for the Brooks stat.

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Kevin

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