Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t trying to make any bold statements about the lockout ending when he announced his plans to leave Sweden for New York City on New Year’s day:
Instead, he’s been holding out hope that the work stoppage would come to an end. It’s tough to blame him, too.
For one thing, the New York Rangers bolstered an Atlantic Division-winning lineup by trading for Rick Nash. More personally, he’s in the second-to-last year of a big contract, with a notable drop from his 2012-13 salary ($6.875 million) to 2013-14’s $5.125 million takeaway.
The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 30 years old, so the lockout is eating into a key prime year on a team that could give him the best support of his NHL career.
Here’s hoping he’s indeed coming back to the Big Apple for a good reason – whether Lunqvist and the Rangers end up looking great or not.