Lundqvist can’t fathom leaving the Rangers

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A goalie as seasoned and marketable as Henrik Lundqvist could fetch a staggering bounty on the free agent market, but it’s difficult to imagine him playing for any team other than the New York Rangers.

Even with his next contract unsettled, Lundqvist admitted to SVT Sweden’s Marie Lehmann that it’s tough for him to think of such a situation, too. NHL.com provides his translated thoughts:

“The way the organization and fans have treated me and how much I’ve enjoyed it, it’s hard to picture myself playing elsewhere,” Lundqvist said.

The 31-year-old admitted that his contract year is huge for his career, but he also stated that he doesn’t want it to be a distraction.

Lundqvist’s situation is the biggest question mark for the Rangers going forward, but 2013-14 looks like a serious fork in the road overall for the franchise. It’s Alain Vigneault’s first season as head coach while¬†Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Derick Brassard rank among the many other Rangers entering contract years.

In other words, a lot can change between this summer and next, even for the league’s most reliable netminder.