Guest blogger: Patrick Hoffman … Pay Henrik Lundqvist!

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Pay the Man: Show Lundqvist the Money

By Patrick Hoffman

If you’re a true New York Rangers’ fan and follower of the NHL, you already know that you have perhaps the best goaltender in the National Hockey League.

Rangers’ fans know that their favorite hockey team needs to do everything it can to sign Henrik Lundqvist to a long and fair deal. While it does not always work out that way, this is something that simply needs to happen in order for the Blueshirts to have success going forward.

With that said, Lundqvist’s new deal is going to come down to dollars and sense, and everything does these days in pro sports. If you follow the game closely, you know that Chicago Blackhawks’ gave Cup-winning masked man Corey Crawford, a netminder who has played just 152 games, a six-year contract extension worth $36 million.

While there is no doubt that Crawford is a talented goaltender, this seems like an awful lot to pay a keeper who has not really proven a lot. Crawford certainly played well in the postseason last year in leading the Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup in four years but other than that, he has not proven much else in this league so far.

There will be those that tell you that winning the Cup is everything when it comes to the NHL. While that is mostly true, there are certainly other standards in which goaltenders are judged upon.

Based on the criteria mentioned below, the “King” certainly deserves a contract that is worth more than what Crawford is going to earn over the next several seasons.

Wins

Again, we know that Crawford won the Cup last season but had the team put Ray Emery between the pipes, there is a good chance that the same result would have occurred.

When it comes to the Rangers, the team struggles to win games when Lundqvist is not between the pipes. In his eight seasons in the NHL, Lundqvist has won 276 games and was also the first netminder to record at least 30 wins in each of his first seven seasons in the league.

Had the Rangers had a different netminder in their net, that win total might be a lot lower.

Consistency

In his eight years with the Blueshirts, Lundqvist has been nothing but consistent.

Besides winning at least 30 games each season he plays, he consistently posts some of the top numbers in several goaltending categories. Year in and year out, one can find Lundqvist in the top five or 10 in terms of goals against average, save percentage, shutouts, games played, and saves made.

It should also be noted that he is doing this on a team that does not provide a lot of offence, which means the pressure to perform is on Lundqvist every time he skates into the Rangers’ net.

Awards/Nominations

At the end of every season, it seems like Lundqvist is up for an award (s) whether it is an award given by the league or one given by his team.

When it comes to the NHL, Lundqvist has won or has been nominated for the following awards:

– Vezina Trophy Winner (2012).

– Vezina Trophy Nominee (2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013).

– Calder Trophy Nominee (2006).

– Hart Trophy Nominee (2012).

– Ted Lindsay Award (2012).

– NHL First All-Star Team (2012).

In regards to the Rangers, Lundqvist has been named the team’s most valuable player for seven straight seasons. Without Lundqvist, the Rangers are not a playoff team nor are they club to necessarily to be feared whether it is in the Eastern Conference or the entire league.

When looking at what Lundqvist has done and what the market is showing now, Lundqvist deserves to get paid a hefty amount by the Blueshirts.

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Patrick covers the NHL as a contributing writer for Sportsnet.ca.

Prior to writing for Sportsnet.ca, Hoffman’s musings have been published on Kukla’s Korner the NHL Network Radio Blog, the Red Light District Hockey Blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Spector’s Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com, as well as a slew of others.

For comments and hip checks, feel free to contact Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com or on Twitter at @pathoffman35.

Photo by Getty Images.

 

 

 

 

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100 Comments

  1. and your comment that the Hawks would have won the Cup with Emery tells you big money is not needed on a goalie. the money should go to the skill players. as many of them as you can get.

  2. Bull dog: that theory has been tried over and over by the Phlyers and has failed. You at least need an average goaltender who can have flashes of brilliance.

  3. Amen Patrick!
    I got tickets yesterday for March 16th game. We’re in section 101. Does anybody know if these are good seats?

  4. The Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals with two below average goaltenders: Leighton and Boucher

    An average goaltender is not difficult to draft or find via free agency. Currently, Tim Thomas is an available free agent.

    In response to a post from a couple days ago, how can one rate Boyle as necessary while rating Stralman as expendable?

    Stralman is an adequate D with a little offense to his game at a reasonable price.

    Boyle is a fungible 4th liner.

  5. We have been paying him… an average of $6.9 million over 6 years. How much more do we need to give a player who will turn 32 this season? He’s been great, and will likely continue to be so for at least another 2-3 years, but dumping so much cap space into the net doesn’t seem to pay off. Once you make the playoffs you just need a hot goalie, and it seems that any of the 16 who make it can play well, regardless of salary or regular season performance. I’d be willing to give Henrik another few years at good money, and hopefully he can finally win one here in NY, but I don’t want him signed long term.

  6. Good morning, boneheads!

    Great post, Patrick. Thank you.

    To people who have doubts about what will happen, you’re forgetting the business part of this equation. He earned his paycheck with all his numbers and contributions to this team and this league. And he will get paid. If not in NY then it will be elsewhere. The Rangers have an upper hand in terms of being able to offer a 8 year deal, and in terms his family seemingly being attached to the city.
    And all this talk about a team only needing a mediocre goaltender to get far and win it all. In case you forget- this team doesn’t have enough top end talent to get them far without a top notch goaltending. Whether it’s a function of bad drafting, inadequate management, not being able to tank in order to draft higher, it doesn’t matter. It’s a reality.
    He will ask for Ovechkin/Malkin kind of contract. And he will get it. If not here, some place else. I believe it’ll be in NY. Or so I hope.

  7. HockeymanRangers on

    In case you forget- this team doesn’t have enough top end talent to get them far without a top notch goaltending. WHAT??????
    Richards,Nash,Callahan, Stepan, Krieder and we are at the top end of the salary cap??? It’s jsut time for these players that are supposed to HAVE THE TALENT to start producing.

  8. From THE 'VILLE on

    To Crazy|NYR
    According to the price guide under my Directv program account NHL Center Ice will be $159.96 for the season. Sounds about the same as last year.

  9. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    The truth is, you need a lot of luck either way. There have been world class goalies, forwards, and defenseman that never won the Cup. But, Nick Kypreos and Mike Hartman have won one.

    Think I’ve made this comparison before, but (in broad terms) if we assume Hank stops .5 goals per game, then he should be paid similarly to a free agent 40 goal scorer.

  10. I’m not in favor of throwing stupid money at lundqvist. I understand he is a top 5 goalie in the league. I don’t believe making your goaltender the highest paid player on the team is a winning formula, especially in a cap era. Unfortunately the rangers won’t have much of a choice because I’m sure there will be one nhl team that will throw stupid money at lundqvist. I wouldn’t give lundqvist more than a 5 year deal but this is sather where talking about and we all know when it comes to throwing money at veterans sather will do it.

  11. the argument is not about the Kypreos’s and Hartmans of the world. it is about whether you need a world class goalie to win the Cup. or should the cap money be spent on top end talent instead. the Rangers have had the world class goalie for yeas now, and have nothing to show for it. while the teams who pay there skill players win.

  12. Lundqvist has a big decision to make. If he wants to end his career as a lifelong Ranger, then he might have to give the team a little hometown discount. If not, then it is possible the team will have difficult decisions to make in the next year or two with other players hitting free agency.

    On the plus side, the Rangers “should” have money available after the Richards Buyout in the summer and an expected $6 million raise in the salary cap.

  13. Lundqvist will take the most money. it is always about the money. if it wasn’t about money, Stepan would be signed already.

  14. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    You have to put it in context too. Do you think you have a better shot at winning with a $4M goalie and a $4M forward?

    Then you’re looking at someone like Nabakov or Dubnyk as UFA goalies. Maybe someone like Jagr, Roy, or Steoguchi in the $4M range.

  15. we are going to find out a lot about Hank this year. it looks as if the Rangers are going to play an up tempo style, and rely on Hank to fend for himself a bit more. plus the pads are a little smaller. we will see if he was system goalie.

  16. what was Crawford payed last year? what was Neimi payed 4 years ago? what was Rask paid last year?
    ilb,
    i’m talking about building a team. you build with skill. you pay the skill. if you find a Hank along the way, great. if not there are a lot of goalies out there, who can get you to the 2nd round.

  17. I definitely wouldn’t pay lundqvist more or the same as malkin or Crosby. I wouldn’t give lundqvist more than 7.5 mill a year. It will be interesting to see how good lundqvist really is with a different system and smaller pads.

  18. Bull dog, you don’t have to convince me in that. I understand it. I’m talking about the reality. They have what they have. Hank is their best chance to continue constructing a winning team around as of now. Unless you want to see another haphazard rebuild for 7-8 years.

  19. bull dog line,
    I’m with you 100% on this particular debate but we all know sather and the rangers organization will give lundqvist a stupid contract extension.

  20. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    bull dog, the players you’re looking at are Heatley, Gaborik, Vanek, Thornton, and Marleau as potential UFA’s.

    And that is probably coupled with Biron, or some other average goalie making $2.5-3M to be your goalie.

  21. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    They key is acquiring affordable skill, and you just can’t do that through UFA. So, you either need to trade assets for prospects, or draft and develop.

  22. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    And I don’t necessarily disagree with the idea of reallocating the “Hank money” to other areas. I just don’t know if it would work with the way this team is constructed.

  23. I look at this roster with an average goalie and see dark nights at MSG in the springtime.

    Good morning, Sally!

    Great job, Patrick!

    Get a life, Guest Bloggers Stink.

  24. I can see both sides, could probably accept both sides (one in tears), but whichever way it goes has to be determined by the trade deadline. He can’t simply walk, you either cash in or you commit to keeping him through 2020.

  25. the problem where the rangers are with lundqvist is dam if you do or dam if you don’t. The rangers organization doesn’t have much of a choice. Lundqvist will get his money.

  26. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    And didn’t they make it to the ECF with essentially two skill players (when Richards was like his old self)?

  27. That’s the 8+ million dollar question. If the rangers feel lundqvist demands are to much and don’t want to go there than they have to decide if there not going to sign him they have to trade him and get something for him.

  28. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Carp, do you know when they can sign extensions without impacting the current year cap? You can do that at some point during the season, right?

  29. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Yes, they probably should trade him and get what they can, but we know how well that went over with Leetch.

  30. they used to say that about Brodeur. then Scott Clemennsen won 25 games. this argument is not, lets take Hank off the team, and not replace him and they will be better or worse. of course they would be worse. the argument is, is the cap money better spent on skill, and not on a world class goalie.

  31. as for the theory that you can win Cups with average goalies, sometimes you can if you have a superior roster. The Rangers don’t have one, not even close — I still doubt that they will score enough goals playing AV’s supposedly up-tempo style.

    But then you think to ’94. That roster was stacked, and still they don’t win that Cup with Glenn Healy in net. They don’t.

  32. Gravy is right you need luck to win the cup, a perfect storm if you will. Who you end up playing, are they healthy, are you healthy? The penguins are an example, they were cruising two years ago and ran into Philly, so long Malkin and Crosby.

    So maybe you can win with out Henrik but he is and has been our best player and I hope he gets paid to play here.
    To get a similar goaler you’ll have to spend close to what we’re paying him now anyway in today’s market.

  33. Please do not give a 32 yr old goalie a huge money long term deal. Paying his for what he has done is bad form. Paying him for what he will do and what the replacement cost on a value/cost basis would seem to be the question.
    While we may have one of the better goalies, the replacement cost and relative performance trade-off is the issue.
    We should invest in aging, past-their-prime centers who ‘wants’ to play in New York?

  34. I don’t disagree, bull dog. But on the other hand, $5M gets you a Ryane Clowe or a Kelly Clarkson these days, not a Malkin. You saw the bad contract they had to put on the table to get a non-top-40 player in Brad Richards to sign. It’s not like you take Lundqvist’s $8 or $9 million and spend it on two great players, or even one. It doesn’t work that way anymore.

    and then even when it does work, you get a Gaborik who puts up two 40-goal seasons and you can’t wait to get him off the roster?

    I think you keep your best player, accept that he is going to make a pile of money, and continue to try to build as you have. And hope your GM is smart enough to make the right decisions (s).

  35. You know what would have made a long term deal for Lundqvist easier to handle on the cap? Getting a few of Stepan’s UFA years bought out at below market value. If he and McDonagh are $4MM under starting post bridge (so 2015-16), you have next season tight then four more that are manageable.

  36. In Biron’s defense, he was a starter in this league at one point. He is probably still better than some starting goalies in this league.

  37. yeah, the UFA market has really dried up lately. that is probably because teams are identifying there young potential stars, and locking them up with long term contracts. instead of the bridge contracts some teams insist on.

  38. Olga Folkyerself on

    At least Lundqvist is worth the money. He is also homegrown talent. I’d rather have a Vezina winning goalie than not. Pay the man. LQ is the solution, not the problem.The system falls apart when Sather overpays for fading UFAs. It also fails when he can’t draft talent either. The problem is Sather. Sather spends like a drunken sailor. He rarely gets value for his big free agent contracts. Redden, Gomez, Drury, Holik, Lindros, Richards, on and on and on… And yet he nickel and dimes the homegrown talent – Stepan is just the latest example. With what the Rangers spend, they should have a great goalie AND a great team in front of him. It doesn’t have to be an either-or.

    LQ is one of the few things Sather got right in the last 14 years. Don’t throw that away by letting him become a UFA.

  39. _I think you keep your best player, accept that he is going to make a pile of money, and continue to try to build as you have. And hope your GM is smart enough to make the right decisions (s)._

    This is so much easier to do if you haven’t already given a guy you want to be your best forward but might not be almost $8MM for 5 more years, taken a major risk that your 9th best forward might make almost $7MM for even longer and left yourself vulnerable long term with a key young player.

    (I was totally on board with Sather for maybe 3 or 4 years, and he was right on the Gaborik trade, but last offseason was a complete disaster.)

  40. Mister D,
    this Stepan bridge contract is going to come back and bite them in the but. he is going to eventually end with between 6 and 7 mill per a year. if they were smart enough to go long term with him now, it probably be between 4 and 5 mill per. very shortsighted by the Rangers.

  41. I do not begrudge the money he should make, he defintely earned it. JUst worried we are paying today’s prices for yesterday’s performance in 2 or 3 years.

    Take Staal (trade) and Richards (amnesty) off next year’s roster and sign Barry Beck or someone who can shoot the puck like him.

    Cally (UFA) and Brass-hard (RFA) coming up next yr along with DelZaster (RFA) and DanG (UFA)

  42. Yup. Just an unbelievable mistake by Sather on that one and not one you can really get back. The best managed cap teams *always* lock up their young players early and for a long time.

  43. Carp: Agreed on the lack of top talent, but you have to wonder how this roster would look without the trade. If the trade never happened and Sather were dead set on bridging Stepan, Boyle would be our 1st line center right now. Seriously. Ewww.

  44. Are you convinced that Brassard can be a top-six player?

    re: Lundqvist’s age … goalies play well into their late 30s, sometimes beyond.

  45. _Think I’ve made this comparison before, but (in broad terms) if we assume Hank stops .5 goals per game, then he should be paid similarly to a free agent 40 goal scorer._

    I did some napkin math. There were 35,781 shots in the National Hockey League last year and 32,656 saves. That’s an overall save percentage of .913. Hank saved .926 percent of shots, which is 133 basis points better than the average.

    On average, teams took 29.14 shots per game, which over an 82 game season is 2388.66 shots faced. If Hank saves 1.33% of shots faced that other goalies don’t, then that’s roughly *32 goals per year* saved.

    You could probably poke lots of holes in that methodology, but thought it was interesting.

  46. and he will likely face more shots since fewer will be blocked in 2013-14, though theoretically his team should have the puck more often … theoretically.

    did I already say theoretically?

  47. _Are you convinced that Brassard can be a top-six player?_

    Can be? Absolutely. Easy talent to be a 2nd line center at worst. Will be is where I think I have a lot more confidence than others, but I’m always willing to give a player one change-of-scenery free pass.

  48. Me, I need to see Brassard do it over 82 games.

    question probably should have been “is” not “can be.”

    he certainly can be.

  49. the Gaborik trade wasn’t a good trade, it was a great trade. if that trade was not made, Richards is probably gone (good thing, I know). Gabby, in the last year of his contract, would be gone the next season (Richards will be too). call it even. no Richards, no Gabby in 2014, 2015. trade Gabby, now you have Brassard, Moore, and Dorsett in 2014, 2015, instead of just no Richards, and no Gabby.

  50. plus that Moore really looks like a steal. Brassard looks like he may become the player everyone thought he was going to be, and Dorsett replaces what Prust was bringing.

  51. This isn’t a place for reserving opinions, Carp. You need to have an extreme opinion that you tout without shame and without reason in the face of all rationality.

  52. you get 20 from Brassard, and 20 from Kreider, and there is your 40.
    Nash, Cally, Kreider, and Hagelin are my top 6 wingers, and I feel like i’m forgetting somebody.

  53. _Obviously that assumes the goalie starts every day, which obviously is not true._

    But if it were true, it would take the Rangers from 6th overall in plus minus (thanks to 4th overall goal prevention) to down below the midpoint of the league.

  54. Yeah, Carp, I think it goes by committee. Which I guess can be a positive because if you’re reliant on one player to put up 15-20% of your total scoring, a slump (or injury) is that much more painful. Pun very intended.

  55. Answering the wing question which might have been for me: I think we have 3 top 6 wings in Nash, Callahan and Kreider. I very much do not think Hagelin should be a top 6 on a really good team, so we’re missing one guy. I advocate trading Richards for Evander Kane.

  56. 20 plus 20 doesn’t equal 40 in this case. Because of you get 40 from one guy and 20 from another, that’s 60. So from which two guys are you getting 60?

    and to take it a step further, Gaborik + Nash should get you 75. Which two guys are getting you 75?

  57. it’s not the money that concerns me with Hank it’s the yrs. 5 is what i want 6 is ok any more it;s trouble folks. Still cant believe they didnt cut Richards…. it literally screws everything else up. UGH they deserve the disater that’s coming.

  58. who are your centers that are getting the puck to Nash, and Gabby that is allowing them to score 75 goals? Stepan, and who?

  59. it was Stepan that he played with most of the season, not Christensen. so please tell me who is going to center these 75 goal guys?

  60. If you’re pairing up you almost have to go to three to account for cost, don’t you? We can write Nash off since he’d be in both pools, so its really Gaborik + a minimum wage guy versus Brassard and a > $4MM cap hit player.

  61. The verdict is absolutely still out on the Gaborik trade. Just because Brassard was solid for the rest of a lockout shortened season after the trade deadline doesn’t mean he’s going to be a solid top 6 option. Just like how Gaborik underperforming in a lockout shortened year doesn’t mean he’s washed up now. A full 82 games will show who got the better end of this deal.

    Dale’

  62. Carp do you think the Gabby trade was all business and getting the highest value/assets back, knowing you’re not going to resign him?

    Or was it Tort’s wanting more JAM for the playoffs last year?

  63. _A full 82 games will show who got the better end of this deal._

    More than that. Gaborik can go back to 40 per and Brassard can continue to be an enigma and we’ll still have like 4 seasons of John Moore to balance things.

  64. My opinion on the trade will always remain the same: It was a GREAT trade. Gaborik was obviously leaving after this season. So we had to move him or lose him. No cap space to keep him and he’s injury prone at his age (abdomen, shoulder).

    Second, Brassard looks like he might be a legit #2 Center and if he and Stepan are around we have two legit #2 Centers which is better than most teams.

    Third, John Moore looks like an absolute Stud. Maybe even a Mini-McBust.

    Fourth, Dorsett brings something that was severely lacking on this squad.

  65. Gaborik was 42-44-86 in 76 games the year before anybody even heard of Stepan.

    and Stepan had :only” 34 assists the year Gaborik scored 41.

    Let’s see if Brassard ever gets 34 assists in a season. Maybe he will. He never has.

  66. Gabby is an elite player, as is Nash, but they still have to score goals in the playoffs if they are going to win the Cup!

    Nash disappeared last year, and Gabby had a bad shoulder the year before. The top players still have to get it done when it counts. I can’t say Nash and Gabby have, on any team they have played on.

    Richards did, 10 years ago, but he is not the player he once was.

    If it wasn’t for Lundqvist, this team DOESN’T make the playoffs. He will get paid, but Richards contract dollars will be needed, and don’t even want to think what happens if he gets injured this year.

  67. Sioux, if it was made to appease Torts, then they shouldn’t have made it if they were firing Torts.

    If it was a business decision, fine. But then why keep Richards for one more year?

  68. @BlueSeatBlogs 2m

    I think #NYR should troll the Flyers and claim Newbury off waivers. Serves no purpose, but would make me laugh.

  69. Guest bloggers stink on

    So there. Other than winning the Cup, Crawford has proved nothing in this league.

    Wow. This one was a painful read.

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