The New York Rangers have announced the re-signing of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to a seven-year, $59.5 million contract. Lundqvist was eligible for UFA status at season’s end.

Henrik Lundqvist will remain a Ranger for a long time.

Henrik Lundqvist will remain a Ranger for a long time.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like all the recent hand-wringing in the New York media over Lundqvist’s contract status was for naught, not to mention all those reports claiming there’d been little progress in talks between the Rangers and the Lundqvist camp. As expected, it’s a seven-year deal worth an average annual cap hit of $8.5 million.  No one should be surprised. I’ve said for weeks the Blueshirts would open the vault for “King Henrik”. Did anyone really believe they wouldn’t re-sign this guy for that much? If so, you were dreaming in technicolor.

Given Lundqvist’s inconsistent play over the opening two months of this season, this deal could make some Rangers fans nervous. However, having won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 and had 30-or-more wins in each of his first seven seasons, the Rangers appear confident he’ll regain his stellar form. The long-term security of this deal could also put Lundqvist’s mind at ease, allowing him to focus upon improving his game.  

Despite the solid play of rookie Cam Talbot, it’s obvious Lundqvist remains the main man between the pipes for the Blueshirts. Yes, his new contract is  expensive, but that’s the price you pay to retain your franchise player. Besides, with the salary cap expected to rise significantly over the course of this CBA (thanks in part to that whopping new Canadian TV deal the NHL has with Rogers Communications), the Rangers can easily afford this.