"The king." Henrik Lundqvist's extraordinary nickname fits him like one of his Swedish tailored suits. Since 2005 The King has ruled MSG with a scepter in one hand and a blocker in the other. He wears his crown proudly, but most only ever see him with his mask on.

The Rangers' franchise leader in wins, saves, and shutouts has done it all on the ice -- except win a Stanley Cup. He has won 30+ games in 11 of his first 12 seasons -- only one other netminder can claim that -- and the one time he didn't reach 30 wins was the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, during which he lead the NHL with 24 wins.

A one-time Vezina Trophy winner and 11-time NHL All-Star, the King has earned his reputation as one of the finest goalies in the National Hockey League -- both in the present and throughout history. His 400+ wins speak volumes, and at 35, he is still a top-10 netminder across the league.

The question

But that begs the question: Just how much longer can the King remain on his throne? Rangers' fans will surely want to burn me at the stake for daring to ask such a question, but Father Time waits for nobody. Throughout the history of professional sports Father Time is the only unbeaten entity, and eventually he comes to collect even the greatest of athletes. Henrik Lundqvist is no exception, and as he continues to play though the back-nine of his illustrious career, it's fair to wonder how many holes he has to go until the magic 18th?

Last season saw Hank struggle more then he ever has before, but it's a testament to his greatness that he still managed to record a 31-20-4 record to go along with a .910 save percentage and 2.74 goals-against-average. The record is impressive, but his SV% and GAA were the worst of his career and have been trending downward for a few years now.

This isn't to say that the end is imminent. Far from it. Henny should still be an above-average goalie for the next two years, but after that, like I said, Father Time waits for no man. So, when that unfortunate time comes, who will be there to take over for the King? If history has taught us anything, the King usually passes on his crown to the Prince.

But who's the Rangers' Prince?

The replacement

In the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers selected Russian puck-stopper Igor Shesterkin in the 4th-round, and at the time his signing was received as a move for the future rather than the present. That future is rapidly approaching. The 21-year-old goalie has dominated the KHL and last season he registered an other-worldly record of 31-4-1, to go along with a 1.64 GAA, .937 SV%, and 8 shutouts -- all of which were career-highs. Shesterkin's KHL contract runs through next season, after which he will be free to play for the Blueshirts.

Assuming that Igor joins the Blueshirts for the 2018-19 season, he should be the backup for Lundqvist. During that time he can learn from the King, the same way that Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers learned from Brett Favre.

After that, their roles could conceivably flip. Shesterkin will assume the role of starter while Lundqvist becomes the backup. From that point on, it will all be about the Russian Prince and how well he can replace the Swedish King. If his KHL numbers are any indication, I'd say it's safe to assume that the transfer of power in RangersTown will be a smooth one.