Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/21/14 at 09:59 AM ET
from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,
Nine years into his North American career, Lundqvist is shaping up as one of the great value buys in sport. He has a new seven-year, $59.5-million (U.S.) deal that will carry him to his 38th birthday. It was signed last year, and some wondered about the term for a player already in his 30s. No one’s wondering any more.
His employer, the Madison Square Garden Company, makes more than $2-million from each home playoff game. MSG’s premier franchise, the Knicks, isn’t helping out any in that regard.
As close to single-handed as is possible in a team game, Lundqvist has already earned back next year’s salary. He looks good value to write off the following one as well in the next few weeks.
If he were just good at his job, that would be one thing. A great many hockey players seem superhuman on the ice, and then alarmingly typical off it. That’s part of the sport’s core charm. Up close, most of these guys really do look like the rest of us (if the rest of us lived at the gym).
But Lundqvist has the presence to transcend his game and its gap-toothed image. He’s special somehow. He has a twin brother, Joel, who played briefly in Dallas. Though just as well-scrubbed, Joel Lundqvist is not Henrik. You wonder how the poor guy hasn’t succumbed to despair.
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