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Rangers reward Lundqvist with a $3.43-million raise

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers avoided salary arbitration
with Henrik Lundqvist by agreeing to terms on a one-year deal
Wednesday with the Olympic gold-medal winning goalie.

Henrik Lundqvist

Lundqvist

Lundqvist, a restricted free agent scheduled for an arbitration
hearing on July 24, will earn $4.25 million next season. He made
$817,000 last season.

The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist will be in line for a
long-term contract after next Jan. 1 that will impact the 2008-09
cap instead of this season.

If New York signs Lundqvist to another one-year deal in 2008,
they run the risk of losing him to unrestricted free agency in the
summer of 2009.

It was the second key re-signing by the Rangers in two days
after Brendan Shanahan agreed to a one-year contract Tuesday to
return to New York for a second season. That leaves forwards Sean
Avery and Marcel Hossa, both slated for arbitration, as the
Rangers' last remaining restricted free agents.

Following the free-agent signings of centers Chris Drury and
Scott Gomez, New York has very little room left under the $50.3
million salary cap for next season. Shanahan signed for $2.5
million in base salary, far below the $4 million he earned last
season, but can surpass that amount with regular-season and playoff
bonuses that could add another $2.8 million to the deal.

The 25-year-old Lundqvist went 37-22-8 with a 2.34 goals-against
average in 70 games last season -- his second in the NHL. The 37
wins were the second-most in a single season in Rangers history.

The goalie, who led Sweden to the gold medal at the 2006 Turin
Olympics, tied for sixth in the league with five shutouts. His 67
wins over his first two seasons are the most in Rangers history.

Lundqvist put up a 1.85 GAA with a .931 save percentage in his
final 44 regular-season games last season. He allowed two goals or
fewer 33 times in that span.

In the playoffs, Lundqvist was 6-4 -- including a four-game sweep
of Atlanta in the first round -- with a 2.07 GAA and .924 save
percentage.

Lundqvist is 67-34-17 in 123 NHL games with a 2.29 GAA and a
.919 save percentage, including a rookie-record 30 wins in the
2005-06 season.