Various media outlets are reporting the deal is actually worth $4.25 million, not the $2.5-3 million that had been speculated. This undoubtedly complicates matters for the Rangers, and almost certainly guarantees that one or two players will have to be moved to clear out cap space. This also ends any, albeit remote, chance there was of the Rangers landing Souray.
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with restricted free agent goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist, 25, appeared in 70 games with the Rangers this past season, posting a 37-22-8 record, along with a 2.34 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Among league leaders, he ranked fourth in minutes played (4,108), tied for sixth in shutouts (five), ranked eighth in goals against average (2.34), tied for eighth in wins (37), and tied for ninth in save percentage (.917). His 37 wins marked the second-most victories in one season by a Ranger goaltender (Mike Richter, 42).
In his last 44 games of the 2006-07 regular season, Lundqvist posted a 1.85 goals against average and a .931 save percentage, and surrendered two goals or fewer 33 times over the span. He was named the NHL's "First Star" of the week twice in a three-week period in March and was selected as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the second consecutive season.
In the 2007 playoffs, Lundqvist posted a 6-4 record, along with a 2.07 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in 10 games.
The 6-1, 195-pounder has appeared in 123 career games with the Rangers, posting a 67-34-17 record, along with a 2.29 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. In postseason play, he has appeared in 13 career contests, posting a 6-7 record, along with a 2.58 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. In 2005-06, Lundqvist set the Rangers rookie record for wins in a season (30) and now has more wins (67) over his first two NHL seasons than any netminder in team history.
Prior to joining the NHL ranks, Lundqvist appeared in 144 career contests with the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League, posting a 2.02 goals against average. In 2004-05, he appeared in 44 games with Frolunda, posting a 33-8-3 record, along with a 1.79 goals against average and a .936 save percentage. He ranked among the Swedish Elite league goaltending leaders in several categories, including: wins (33, first), goals against average (1.79, first), save percentage (.936, first), shutouts (6, first) and minutes played (2641:51, second).
In the 2004-05 postseason, Lundqvist turned in a record of 12-2 with a 1.05 goals against average, a .962 save percentage and six shutouts. His efforts led Frolunda to the Swedish Elite League championship for the second time in three years. Following the postseason, he was named to the Swedish media all-star team for the third consecutive season, earned league MVP honors and was tabbed with Sweden's best player award.
Lundqvist captured his first Swedish Elite League championship with Frolunda in 2002-03, posting a 2.11 goals against average in 12 postseason contests en route to the title. While playing for Frolunda's junior team in 2001-02, he was named the League's Junior of the Year.
Internationally, Lundqvist has represented Sweden in several tournaments. Most recently, he captured a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy where he recorded a 5-1 record, along with a 2.33 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in six games. As a member of Team Sweden at the 2004 World Championships, he backstopped the club to a silver medal finish. In the tournament, he appeared in all eight contests, posting a 5-1-2 record, along with a 1.64 goals against average and a .925 save percentage.
Following the tournament, he was named to the Media All-Star team, as well as one of Sweden's top three players for the Championships. He also represented his country at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2005 World Championships. In addition, Lundqvist participated in the 2001 and 2002 World Junior Championships and the 2003 World Championships.
The Are, Sweden native was the Rangers seventh selection, 205th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
11 July 2007
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