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Lundqvist will seek resolution on future with Rangers when season is over

Goalie has one year left on contract, been passed by Shesterkin, Georgiev on depth chart

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Henrik Lundqvist will be with the New York Rangers for the rest of this season. The goalie's future with the only team he's played for in his 15-year NHL career is unclear beyond that.

"Obviously, my situation, after the season you will obviously have things to talk about, your role and if you fit in this role or something else," Lundqvist said. 

The 37-year-old has one season remaining on a seven-year contract, but it's possible that the era of the greatest goalie in Rangers history could come to an end after this season.

The Rangers (34-24-4) also have 24-year-old goalies Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev, and each has moved ahead of Lundqvist on the depth chart in the past month and a half. 

Video: Shesterkin's injury impact on Rangers moving forward

Shesterkin is 9-1-0 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in 10 starts since being recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Jan. 6. However, he will miss the next few weeks with a nondisplaced rib fracture sustained in a car accident Sunday.

Georgiev is 15-12-1 with a 2.98 GAA and .913 save percentage after a 4-3 overtime win against the New York Islanders on Tuesday. 

"I've been very open with management over the two years I've been through this process that if there comes a day where they feel like I'm not a good solution, let's talk about it, let's be open about it," said Lundqvist, who turns 38 Monday. "I know we're going to sit down after this season, but right now and over the last few weeks my focus has been just to work hard and be ready, and that's what I think I should be doing. There will be a time here, obviously, when you just have to look at where we are in my position, but I've been very open and clear to the organization about that."

The Rangers likely have three options with Lundqvist, who is 10-11-3 with a 3.12 GAA and .907 save percentage, after this season.

They can keep him and try to trade one of the other goalies, most likely Georgiev, who can become a restricted free agent July 1.

They can trade him, which requires Lundqvist to waive his no-movement clause and could result in the team having to retain a portion of his salary cap charge.

They can buy out the final year of his contract. 

Video: NHL Tonight breaks down the Kreider deal

Lundqvist, sixth in NHL history with 459 wins, could retire, but he has made no indication that he's ready to do that.

Rangers president John Davidson confirmed the plan will be to talk with Lundqvist after the season and try to come to a resolution with the player who has been the face of the franchise for nearly a decade and a half.

"For sure, because it's only fair to Hank and his family, and it's fair to us," Davidson said. "There's not really a lot else to say about it other than that. We will chat. We will talk. We've had many conversations with Hank through all this, and everybody's on the up and up, knows where everything sits. So, I'm very confident that we'll find a good resolution wherever we go."

Davidson praised Lundqvist for being "a terrific pro" at a time he's had his role as the Rangers' longtime No. 1 goalie dramatically reduced. He added that he's confident that Lundqvist can still play when called upon by coach David Quinn, who has also lauded him for his professionalism.

More opportunities could be coming Lundqvist's way in the next few weeks with Shesterkin injured.

Lundqvist hasn't started since Feb. 3, a span that stretched to 11 games Tuesday. He has started three of the past 20 games since Shesterkin was recalled from Hartford.

"The only thing I can do personally is work hard and be ready when I get an opportunity to play," Lundqvist said. "But it's important that I try to bring that positive energy. Obviously, for me it's a new situation and it's been hard not being able to play, but you've got to make the best of it. I think that starts with practice and hard work. 

"There will be an opportunity to sit down and talk about my role later on, but not now."

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