Any time his name is mentioned in trade talks, it’s usually followed by the phrase, ‘Never going to happen.’ Yet, talk surrounding the New York Rangers goaltenders, more specifically Henrik Lundqvist, doesn’t seem to go away.
The latest report comes from Mike Chambers of The Denver Post who believes Lundqvist could be a perfect target for the Colorado Avalanche.
Why Colorado and Lundqvist?
Apparently, the Avs are growing concerned with the struggles of both of their netminders. Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz have run into somewhat of funk the last few games and with the Avs serious playoff contenders, this is not an ideal time for the netminding to falter. So too, the Avs have a ton of cap space and have been looking for ways to use it before the NHL Trade Deadline on February 24th.
Lundqvist shows as a $8.5 million cap hit but earns just $5.5 million in actual salary for next season. He might make sense financially and he’d certainly give the Avalanche the steady goaltending they’d need in the post-season.
Lundqvist could be that guy for the Avs in 2020 or 2021, and the Rangers are undoubtedly looking at trading one of their three goalies. That’s not a typo — New York is carrying three goalies, including two young ones in Alexandar Georgiev, 23, and Igor Shesterkin, 24 — the latter of whom defeated the Avs in his NHL debut Jan. 7 in New York.
Would Lundqvist Even Consider a Move?
The short answer is no. Still, there might be something enticing about going to Colorado where the team has a really good chance of competing for a Stanley Cup, especially if the team you current play for is looking at a future that doesn’t include you. There are certainly bonuses for the Rangers if they were to move Lundqvist, including picking up a couple of assets before the deadline passes.
It was always expected Lundqvist would retire a Ranger. That remains possible, it would just look a little different in a few years once he leaves and returns, should he choose to do so.
For now, consider this a rumor that isn’t terribly likely. The pieces make sense from a number of perspectives, but at the end of the day, Lundqvist has total control over his situation with full no-move clause and if he doesn’t want to move, he won’t.