The New York Rangers made sure that Henrik Lundqvist will remain with the team for a very, very long time.
The team announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to terms with the goalie on a long-term contract extension. Official terms were not immediately released by the team, but TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Wednesday morning that it is a seven-year contract that will pay him $8.5 million per season.
"Since his arrival in New York in 2005, Henrik has consistently been one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL," general manager Glen Sather said in a team statement. "He is a proud representative of the tradition and class of this organization and we are excited to have him remain as a cornerstone of the franchise."
Lundqvist, who turns 32 in March, is in the final year of a six-year contract that pays him $6.8 million per season.
His new deal will give him the largest cap hit of any goaltender in the league and place him fifth among all players, trailing only Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Corey Perry.
There's always risks with long-term contracts for goalies -- especially when the contract is going to run until the player is nearly 40 years old -- even if it is one of the best in the business.
The Rangers drafted Lundqvist in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL draft. He's spent his entire career with the team, and been its most valuable player on the ice, posting a .920 save percentage in 531 career games. That save percentage is second among active goaltenders, trailing only Tim Thomas.
The concern is going to be how long he can sustain that level of play. The track record of NHL goaltenders in their mid-late 30s isn't exactly promising.
Since 1967, 26 times has a starter aged 31+ posted a save pct of .920 or better in a season: http://t.co/HxDXgWbv0v— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 4, 2013