The New York Rangers parted with Henrik Lundqvist on Wednesday, buying out the final season of his seven-year, $59.5 million contract to end the goaltender's 15 years with the club.
The 38-year-old departs the Rangers with his name all over the top-10 lists in NHL history. He's sixth in wins (459), seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games by a goalie (887), ninth in time on ice (51,816 minutes and 19 seconds). He also ranks 16th in shutouts with 64.
The Rangers selected the Swede in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL Draft, and he took over in goal in the 2005-06 season.
"Few players have been as important to the Rangers franchise as Henrik Lundqvist, and we are incredibly grateful for all he has done for our organization," said James Dolan, the executive chairman of MSG Sports. "Over his 15-year tenure, he not only established himself as one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game, he has also been one of hockey's fiercest competitors and most effective ambassadors. He will always be a part of the Rangers family."
The Rangers made 12 appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Lundqvist in goal, losing the final after the 2013-14 season. He had a 61-67 record in the postseason with a 2.30 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and 10 shutouts.
Lundqvist, who also won a gold medal with Sweden in the 2006 Torino Olympics, thanked the Rangers in a series of tweets Wednesday morning.
"THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! 15 years ago, I played my first game for @NYRangers I came here with high hopes and big dreams but in my wildest imagination, I could never have pictured the amazing ride that lay ahead," he wrote.
"Representing this organization has been the biggest source of pride and joy in my life. I'm so grateful for the opportunity, for the friendships and for all the great memories created wearing the red, white and blue. I will always cherish my time as a Ranger.
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you!"
He is the Rangers' all-time leader in wins, games, starts, saves, shutouts and time on ice. The arrival of rookie Igor Shesterkin in January and the steady play of Alexandar Georgiev made Lundqvist expendable.
The Rangers were swept 3-0 by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup qualifiers. With Shesterkin ruled unfit to play, Lundqvist started the first two games.
--Field Level Media