May 21, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalieHenrik Lundqvist
(30) makes a save against the Boston Bruins during the second period in game three of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, when asked about his upcoming contract year, was recently quoted as saying it would be hard to picture himself playing elsewhere. Lundqvist’s current contract is entering its final year and will pay him $5.125 million in 2013-14.
According to reports from Swedish television network SVT2, the Vezina-caliber goalie would not commit to signing a contract extension with the Rangers after the season, even though he’d be eligible to sign an eight-year deal that would make him very rich and very much a Ranger for the rest of his career.
But how does this affect the New York Islanders, you ask?
Well, the Isles have the salary cap space that would allow for a major free-agent signing (read: Lundqvist), they don’t necessarily have a solution in goal for the foreseeable future—unless Kevin Poulin or Anders Nilsson turn out to be All Stars very soon—and the club is moving to Brooklyn as early as 2014, which is conveniently close to Lundqvist’s current location in Manhattan.
I’m not saying that a Lundqvist-to-the-Islanders headline has already written itself, but the most coveted free agent of the 2014 class might be receiving a call or two from Isles GM Garth Snow over the next 10 months.
Plus, the added irony of the “lowly” Islanders stealing Lundqvist away from their crosstown rivals would be perfect fodder for the New York media. The hype would be unbelievable, which would suit the Isles just fine.
Nothing like making a splash when arriving on the scene, as far as they’re concerned.
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Two Minutes For Tweeting
Whichever group wins the bid to redevelop the Coliseum—MSG or FCE—the lasting legacy for Islanders supporters will be that Nassau County couldn’t keep its own team in Uniondale, but was able to decide on an outside developer to rehabilitate the site without any issues. The decision will likely leave a bad taste in the mouths of hometown fans.
Not an unlikely possibility. Current Isles owner Charles Wang hasn’t publicly announced a change in team ownership will occur, but with the recent trend of cross-sport ownership in the area, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokorov made a move to buy the Islanders in the near future.
Well said, Joe. Expectations around the Isles are high on Long Island, but the rest of the NHL may not be aware of the club just yet. Considering last year’s preseason predictions placed the Islanders at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, I don’t expect to see a first place finish predicted this season. The Isles are a prime dark horse candidate, though.
As a veteran NHLer, Evgeni Nabokov certainly has a feel for what works and what doesn’t in terms of team leadership. Going on record stating that John Tavares is ready to be the next Islanders captain is a strong statement from a respected player.
Short and sweet: that’s all there is to it. Fans of teams around the league are probably thinking the very same thing.
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