Rangers buy out final year of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract

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The New York Rangers have announced that they have bought out the final year of Henrik Lundqvist‘s contract.

“Few players have been as important to the Rangers franchise as Henrik Lundqvist, and we are incredibly grateful for all he has done for our organization,” said Rangers owners James Dolan. “Over his 15-year tenure, he not only established himself as one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game, he has also been one of hockey’s fiercest competitors and most effective ambassadors. He will always be a part of the Rangers family.”

“We would like to thank Henrik for his immeasurable contributions to the New York Rangers,” said Rangers President John Davidson. “From the time I met Henrik when he first came to New York in 2005, he has been the consummate professional. His tireless work ethic, passion for the game, and love of the Rangers and New York City enabled him to become one of the greatest goaltenders in hockey and one of the best players in the history of our franchise. We all wish Henrik and his family the best going forward.”

An expected end to a great tenure in New York

This move was expected after the NHL’s first buyout window opened at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final. The emergence of Igor Shesterkin, and with Alexandar Georgiev also fighting for time, it was clear Lundqvist’s time in New York would be ending.

Per CapFriendly, the move will charge the Rangers with $5.5M of cap space for the 2020-21 season and $1.5M for 2021-22. Lundqvist will join Kevin Shattenkirk ($6.08M), Dan Girardi ($1.11M), and Ryan Spooner (300K) as dead money on their cap for next season.

Lundqvist, the 2012 Vezina Trophy winner, finishes his Rangers career with a .927 even strength save percentage, 459 wins, 64 shutouts, and over 50 franchise records. He also helped New York make the playoffs 12 times and reach the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

We’ll see if he wants to join another NHL team, play home in Sweden, or hang up his skates after a Hall of Fame career. The only certainty is that his No. 30 will be hanging from the Madison Square Garden rafters someday.

MORE: Which NHL teams should try to sign Lundqvist?

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.