Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has signed a six-year extension with the New York Rangers. All six years will between the six and seven million dollar mark.
This was the first move the Rangers had to make before making any sort of trade. Now they know more of where they stand in terms of capacity space for next year, so they can trade for someone who will be a restricted free agent due for a raise next year (hello, Marek Svatos).
They can even make trades like Carolina, who got right wing Patrick Eaves and defense-men Joe Corvo, who still have years on their contract.
It also frees up Al Montoya, the sixth overall pick in 2004 (five picks after Alex Ovechkin, nine before Alex Radulov). The Rangers were hesitant to trade him because without him, Lundqvist and agent Don Meehan could have tried to rob the Rangers.
General manager Glen Sather, most likely used the fact that Montoya could step into the starting role to get Lundqvist's contract down.
Also, with the goalie situation settled until 2014, the Rangers can trade Montoya, either for someone this year, or for a pick/prospect package.
Without Lundqvist set in stone for the next few seasons, they needed Montoya as an insurance plan.
The core has now been settled.
Lundqvist is wrapped up for the next six years, center Scott Gomez for the next six, and Chris Drury for the next four after this year. Marc Staal and Dan Girardi are here to stay (most likely Fedor Tyutin as well), Bobby Sanguenetti is on the way up, and hopefully Alex Bourret, Antem Anisimov, and Alex Cherepanov will be on Broadway within two seasons.
This is presumably the last year in Rangers' blue for right wing Jamorir Jagr, left wings Martin Straka, Brendan Shanahan (although Shanahan gets money next year through this year's contract), and defense-men Michal Rozsival (who will demand more than he's worth in the offseason, and the Rangers should let some other team overpay).
Out with the old, in with the new.