The NHL is hoping to resume the season at some point in July or August, with a 24-team playoff field that would include the Rangers as the No. 11 seed taking on the No. 6 Carolina Hurricanes in a best-of-five qualifying round. And Henrik Lundqvist is getting ready.
"The focus is training and this summer. Now we go for it right here," Lundqvist said during a recent interview with Johan Rylander, translated by Forever Blueshirts, before shifting his attention toward the future. "I can sense that I have it in me - to go another few years over there in the NHL. I'm sure about it! It's clear that I'm thinking about how much I love hockey and how long I think I can continue, or even want to continue. I also realized that I can't look that far ahead."
Lundqvist, who was dominant during three of the Rangers' four wins against the Hurricanes during the regular season -- stopping 125 of 132 total shots -- could play a key role in that series in any playoff run by the Blueshirts.
Or Lundqvist might continue to take a back seat to rookie Igor Shesterkin and potentially Alexandar Georgiev.
Regardless of what happens in the postseason should the NHL season resume as hoped, there will be uncertainty surrounding Lundqvist's future heading into the 2020-21 season.
The 38-year-old Lundqvist, who is owed $5.5 million next season during the final year of his deal, started just 26 of 70 games before the season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"What am I supposed to say about that? I had a picture of how the season would develop, what I had in mind," Lundqvist said. "When things turned out the way they did, I was surprised. But at the same time, part of me understands the situation. I'm not blind. They're thinking ahead. There are many pieces that go into building a team right now, but also for the future. You're going to have to widen the view a little.
"Obviously it is disappointing to not play as much as you want. That's where the disappointment is. It's more … not on them (the Rangers), but more that it became as it became. And if I (hadn't) been disappointed, then I sell myself short. I want to play, to deliver at a high level. If I don't, I will be disappointed."