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May 26, 2013 | 10:27am ET
Lundqvist needs time to reflect
TheFourthPeriod.com

After being ousted from the playoffs yesterday, the New York Rangers will move quickly in determining what off-season moves they plan on making in the coming weeks.

With the NHL Draft just over a month away, Rangers GM Glen Sather and his staff will work quickly in deciding how to approach the 2013-14 roster.

There are plenty of questions surrounding the Rangers next season. Will head coach John Tortorella return behind the bench? Is the team looking to buy out the contract of center Brad Richards? Is the club interested in re-signing Ryane Clowe? What will it cost to re-up restricted free agents Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh? What about Henrik Lundqvist's future with the organization?

The last question might be the most important for the franchise.

While many believe Richards will be bought out, plenty are torn on whether or not they believe the Rangers will fire Tortorella, who has one-year left on his deal.

As the New York Post reports, everything surrounding the team depends on the Rangers giving their franchise player a long-term extension.

Lundqvist, 31, has one-year remaining on his contract that will see him earn $5.125 million, though his annual salary cap hit is $6.875 million. He will undoubtedly command a salary north of $7 million, and could see his paycheck in 2014-15 approach $9 million.

For now, though, he's not concerned about his next contract.

"The next couple of days you're going to analyze things, try to figure out what went wrong and what you can do better," Lundqvist told the Post. "But right now, it's just an empty feeling and disappointment."

The Rangers can officially sign an extension with Lundqvist on July 5, when the free agent market opens, but if the two sides are serious about getting a deal done, they'll likely work on the meat and potatoes of a deal prior to that date.

Lundqvist's importance to the club, the Post notes, would justify the team paying him the max salary under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.


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