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Henrik Lundqvist says talks with Rangers have begun, no pressure yet

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Lundqvist had a .926 save percentage and 2.05 goals against average last season. (USATSI)
Lundqvist had a .926 save percentage and 2.05 goals against average last season. (USATSI)

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Remember not long ago when it was revealed that the Rangers had yet to open discussions with their next round of free agents, most noticeably goaltender Henrik Lundqvist? As they say in New York, fuhgeddaboudit.

The all-world goalie spoke with Will Sammon of Newsday and said that the lines of communication with the team are now open.

"We're talking," Lundqvist said. "The good thing, though, is that we have another year so there's no pressure to get it done. But we're definitely talking, and we'll see where it leads. So far it's been a great time in New York and I don't see any reasons to leave."

Hopefully that will put ease some of the concerns a few people were having despite the fact that there is still nearly a full year until his current contract runs out. There was no way the Rangers weren't going to pursue a new pact with Lundqvist, their best player in the last few years.

Of course any extension is going to be expensive. Lundqvist is already making an average of $6.875 million per season and it will be hard to argue he's not worth a raise on a new deal. While that will surely be part of it, Lundqvist said it's about more than money as well.

"I love it here, I really do," Lundqvist told Sammon. "There's a few things we have to discuss, but like I keep telling everyone, I've had such a great time in New York with the way the fans have treated me and with the challenge to be here, I just love that part. We'll see what happens but it will be fun to stay."

With how much Lundqvist has meant to the franchise and with how much Lundqvist loves New York -- seriously, he brings it up all the time -- it's impossible for me to imagine a new deal won't be reached before next summer. It just might take some time, but at least they're talking now.

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