Following the end of the regular season, Jeff Gorton was asked where Henrik Lundqvist fit in the Rangers rebuild and said "he's right in the middle of it."
Gorton said, "he is our best player, our franchise player and we think that as it stands he belongs here and our rebuild could be centered around him. We don't think he is done by any means, he showed that in stretches this year how good he can still be."
He said that the Rangers hope to put together a team that will cut down on scoring chances against and, in some way, compared Lundqvist to Patriots QB Tom Brady and how effective he has been as he has gotten older.
Gorton said that the organization feels Lundqvist should be playing between 55 and 60 games and that if the Rangers can find the right back up goalie for Henrik they can "get the most" out of him.
Lundqvist said that when he evaluated his season he will look at it from a technical, mental and physical point of view and see where he can improve.
He said that he was really happy with his game in the first half of the year but that, for different reasons, the second half was not as strong.
Lundqvist said that overall he needed time to reflect on the year and said, 'there is some excitement and coming back here and doing it better and seeing how far we can push it already next season when it starts again."
When asked about Lundqvist at his press conference, David Quinn said "Henrik is one of the best goalies in the world. Everybody knows Henrik here, I haven't had a chance to talk with him yet but no one is more committed, no one works harder and I am excited to have him as our goalie."
Quinn told SNY's Justine Ward, "he is one of the elite goalies in all of hockey and to me we are a team that will work on our D zone coverage, spend time pressuring and pursuing the puck, well conditioned team and do the best job we can to put the best team we can in front of them."
Adam Rotter: His role is that he is the starting goalie and franchise player for this team. Henrik wants to be part of the solution and certainly seems like he is going to do everything in his power this summer to work and be the goalie the Rangers need him to be to return to the playoffs. My hope the past few years was that the Rangers, as they got more mobile on defense, would be able to get the puck out quicker and spend less time in their zone. That would allow Lundqvist to remain fresh and healthy for the season but, as we saw, things didn't turn out that way. With David Quinn planning to institute a different structure and commitment to defense, hopefully things can become a little easier for Lundqvist and he will have the opportunity to see fewer shots, stay fresh, stay healthy and continue to be a potential All-Star through this season, and the next few, as the backbone of this rebuilding team.