The decision marks the end of a 15-year run in New York for the future Hall of Famer. Lundqvist, 38, carried an $8.5 million cap hit on the seven-year contract he signed in 2013, but was only owed $5.5 million in total salary for the 2020-21 season.
With the emergence of young netminders Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin, and a flat salary cap as a result of the pandemic, the Rangers have chosen to part ways with the face of their franchise.
According to a buyout calculation from CapFriendly, Lundqvist will count for $5.5 million against the Rangers' salary cap in 2020-21 and for $1.5 million against the cap in 2021-22.
Lundqvist broke into the NHL with the Rangers in 2005-06 and is the most successful goalie to ever suit up for the Original 6 franchise. He is the team's all-time leader in several goalie statistics, including games played (887), wins (459), save percentage (.918) and shutouts (64).
The Rangers appeared in the playoffs in 11 of his 15 seasons, reaching the Eastern Conference Final three times and losing in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final to the Los Angeles Kings. Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 and was a finalist for the award two other times.