When the New York Rangers bought out Henrik Lundqvist's final year of his contract to end an illustrious 15-year stint last week, the ears of teams around the NHL with goaltending needs perked up with interest.
That includes Washington, who have a goaltender of their own in Braden Holtby hitting free agency this offseason. The Capitals' long-term plan revolves around Ilya Samsonov, who just completed his rookie season starting 22 games before an injury saw him miss out on the postseason bubble.
Lundqvist shared plenty of games with the Rangers' three-man rotation in net last season, so likely wouldn't have any qualms splitting time with Samsonov should he sign. Luring Lundqvist to the Caps' win-now mode roster would not only fortify the position instantly, but also provide Samsonov with a mentor to bring him along.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun sees the fit as well, while also mentioning the rival Carolina Hurricanes as a possible landing spot.
With Lundqvist tweeting his desire to stay competing and contending for Stanley Cup glory, one of the only accolades to elude his record-laiden career in New York, rumors of the Swedish international going back home to play with his brother were put on the back burner.
Though Carolina and Colorado were considered as the top-two destinations to sign Lundqvist, Washington's netminder situation makes sense and it wouldn't be a too big of a location change for the longtime New Yorker. Still, he's expected to take his time making his decision.
Drafted in 2000, Lundqvist made the jump from Sweeden to the NHL the same season Alex Ovechkin came to the Capitals in 2005-2006. Fifteen years later, and a possible pairing of King Henrik and the Great 8 could become a real possibility.