There wouldn’t be so much worry if Lundqvist was still at the top of his game, but besides a few playoff moments this year, he is on the downswing. He posted career worsts in goal-against average (2.74), save percentage (.910) during the regular season. His numbers have steadily declined each of the past three years. Once a lock to be in the Vezina discussion, he hasn’t been a candidate since 2015.
Lundqvist is on his way to being mentioned with Cup-less greats like Marcel Dionne and Adam Oates, and that’s a heartbreaking place to be.
Of course few would argue that McDavid deserves to be the highest-paid player in the sport. The 20-year-old, 2015 first-overall pick already has 102 assists and 148 points in only 127 career games played. He just captured the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsey Award, signaling his rise as the league’s top player in 2016-17, when he secured the Art Ross Trophy, leading the NHL with 100 points. That he did so as the youngest captain in league history merely adds to McDavid’s growing legend.
While the dollar figure is record-setting by NHL standards, it pales in comparison to what comparable superstars are paid in the other major sports.
LeBron James hauls in a cool $35.6 million per year, nearly triple what McDavid will make. Clayton Kershaw is right behind James, with MLB’s top salary that calls for him to make $35.571 million each season. Saints quarterback Drew Brees leads the NFL with a cap hit of $28 million.
Facing almost certain elimination should they fall into an 0-3 hole to the hated Penguins, the Capitals nearly choked away yet another promising season when Evgeni Malkin and Justin Schultz scored 48 seconds apart to push Monday’s Game 3 into overtime. Then the Kevin Shattenkirk trade finally paid off.