It’s been nice knowing you Nils Lundkvist and good luck with your next NHL team. Yes, the Lundkvist story line, while not a true classic Viking saga, has dragged on for a number of months and culminated in Lundkvist declaring through his agent Claude Lemieux that he had no intention of showing up for training camp. Those days are behind for the Rangers and for Lundkvist alike as he’s heading to the Dallas Stars and maybe adding a spark to his hockey career in North America.
Why did Lundkvist want to leave the Rangers?
It would seem puzzling to most fans why Nils Lundkvist would want to leave the Rangers as the Blueshirts look to build on their Eastern Conference finals appearance last season and make a push to win Lord Stanley’s Cup next spring. Lundkvist was the 28th player drafted in 2018 and never seemed to be perfectly comfortable with the North American style of physical play when he made the transition from Sweden to the NHL. Lundkvist only registered four points last season in 25 games with the Rangers and spent a good deal of time in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Lunkdkvist faced quick competition for a spot on the Rangers depth chart and found himself on the losing end of the stick by being replaced by fellow defenseman Braden Schneider. Claude Lemieux, Lundkvist’s agent, notified the Rangers that his client wouldn’t be reporting to training camp and requested a transfer. In reality, most other NHL teams weren’t noticeably interested in picking up an expensive European-style defenseman but the Dallas Stars are facing their own defensive struggles and they came calling.
What do the Rangers get in this trade?
What the Rangers get in the Lundkvist trade is the million dollar question-quite literally. Rangers GM Chris Drury was able to negotiate a deal for Lundkvist where the Stars get a defenseman immediately and the Rangers get either a 2023 or 2024 first round draft pick depending on the draft pick order the Stars fall into next year. The Rangers will also pick up a third or fourth round draft pick in 2025 depending on Lundkvist’s performance in Dallas. More importantly than that, the Rangers were able to unload an unhappy player and let him go to a team who could use his help this season. As training camp opens up this week, at least this drama can now be put to rest and it’s time to focus on the upcoming season at hand.