Rangers going all in with Lundqvist

Almost $60 million just got pushed to the center of the table in the Stanley Cup poker tourney by Messrs Dolan and adviser/president Sather, who are banking on Henrik Lundqvist to come up with four aces. Or a King-ly flush.

In a move that underscores the NYR ownership belief that this continues to be a win-now team, the brass is asking Lundqvist to carry them farther than they've been since 1994.

The pressure is now on the Swede to climb the summit in the next five years or so, because next season he'll be raking in $11 million, including a reported $8 million signing bonus before the cash drops to $5.5 mil in the seventh year. That's heady dough for the NHL.

But really, is it fair to saddle a guy with so much responsibility when the offense scores two goals a game?

What they Rangers better spend on is some more production, reliable scoring, money offense, whether it's a proven center to replace Brad Richards or a power-play point man with a bomb to make shot-blocking d-men back off warily or another forward with size to complement Rick Nash...

Otherwise, it's a gamble, even though Lundqvist has been the Blueshirts best player for years and deserves the dough, complete with the requisite no-move clause of course, and they couldn't afford to let him roam.

One job's done. They will be competitive with Lundqvist.

But there's a dozen UFAs and RFAs to make decisions on before next summer ends, that where the tougher calls need to be made.

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