Can the Rangers sign Henrik Lundqvist if he’s cleared to come back after buying him out?

rangers trade deadline
Dec 19, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against Anaheim Ducks center Rickard Rakell (67) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There’s some confusion with regard to the New York Rangers ability to sign Henrik Lundqvist if he’s cleared to resume his career.

The Blueshirts bought out Lundqvist back in September of 2020, and they are still paying $1.5M this season for that move. Our recent article on a possible path back to the Rangers for Lundqvist was questioned because of the cap penalty.

It was argued that the Rangers could not sign Lundqvist after buying him out. That is wrong.

The Rangers can sign Lundqvist, just like Flames signed Michael Stone

henrik lundqvist comeback
Jan 2, 2020; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) stands during the national anthem prior to a game against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

I reached out to Hart Levine who owns and operates the fantastic site, PuckPedia. “Teams can actually re-sign players the same year they bought them out,” he explained. “Calgary did that with Michael Stone a couple years ago, bought him out then re-signed him a week later.”

Back in 2019, the Flames bought out Michael Stone who was due to make $3.5M then signed him for less.

In a league where cap management has become more and more important, the Flames found a new creative solution to reducing a player’s cap hit. Stone re-signed with the Flames Wednesday on a deal that will pay him $700,000 this season; coupled with the cap hit the Flames incurred after buying him out last month, Stone’s total cap hit for this season will be $1.866 million.

The Province

So clearly there is a precedent, and while the spirit of the rule can be questioned, it is legal.

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