Of course the Rangers have to do whatever is necessary to re-sign franchise goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the single greatest reason for the franchise's turnaround from the playoff-free years of 1998-2004, even if that means a max eight-year, $80 million deal.


There's no denying Lundqvist's value to the Rangers. But there is evidence to suggest overspending on a goalie, even one as great as Lundqvist, a sure-fire future Hall of Famer, is not a wise investment.

Consider the NHL's final four this season, which, quite conveniently, are also the last four Stanley Cup winners.

In the Eastern Conference, the Penguins had to bench Marc-Andre Fleury, their franchise goalie, for Tomas Vokoun, a 36-year-old playing in the final season of a two-year, $4 million deal. Fleury, 28, who backstopped Pittsburgh to the Cup in 2009, has a seven-year, $35 million deal through 2015.

The Bruins' Tuukka Rask, 26, will be a restricted free agent after completing a one-year deal for $3.5 million. Boston won the Cup in 2011 with Tim Thomas, who did not play this season and is now 39, in the second season of a four-year, $20 million contract.

In the West, the Blackhawks have Corey Crawford, 28, who has one season remaining on a three-year, $8 million deal. Antti Niemi, now 29, was in net when the Blackhawks won the Cup in 2010. Niemi was awarded $2.75 million through arbitration after that season and the Blackhawks walked away, which is why Niemi is now the Sharks goalie.

The exception to the high-priced rule may be the Kings' Jonathan Quick, 27, who was brilliant as Los Angeles won its first Cup in 2012 and is now in the first year of a 10-year, $58 million deal.