Henrik Lundqvist could have been traded prior to the NHL Trade Deadline this season, but the goaltender told the New York Rangers he was willing to stay while they rebuild.

“We told Hank that if he didn’t want to ride it out through this process, we’d find a good landing place for him,” Rangers owner James Dolan told the New York Post on Wednesday. “But he said that he wanted to stay and see it through. … I’m very happy that’s the way he feels. I think with him at the top of his game, that gives us our best chance of competing for a playoff spot next year.”

New York (34-39-9) failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009-10. The Rangers front office announced Feb. 8 they were going into rebuilding mode; they were three points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot with 28 games remaining at the time.

“I think Hank was able to keep us in the playoff race when we probably didn’t really belong there the way the team was playing,” Dolan said. “Having him in place gives us a great foundation going forward.”

Lundqvist went 26-26-7 with a 2.98 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and two shutouts in 63 games (61 starts). The 36-year-old has multiple years left on a contract he signed Dec. 4, 2013.


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