1/8 | Craig Custance writes that the Rangers asking price for Georgiev is not believed to be cheap. (The Athletic)
1/7 | Igor Shesterkin will make his NHL debut tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Rangers are currently carrying three goaltenders, Shesterkin, Henrik Lundqvist and Alexander Georgiev.
Shesterkin, 24 last week, is in the first-year of a two-year entry level deal and his contract includes an ability to leave the Rangers and return to Europe.
Lundqvist, 38 in March, has the remainder of this season and next season with a cap hit of $8.5 million and a full no-move clause in his contract.
Georgiev, 24 in February, is in the final-year of his entry-level contract and is slated to be an RFA at the end of this season. Georgiev also now must pass through waivers to be sent to the AHL.
On the season:
- Shesterkin in the AHL: 15-4-3, 1.93 GAA, .932 save percentage, 3 shutouts in 23 games
- Lundqvist: 9-9-1, .909 save percentage, 3.17 GAA, 0 shutouts in 24 games (22 starts)
- Georgiev: 10-9-1, .910 save percentage, 3.10 GAA, 2 shutouts in 20 games (19 starts)
Adam Rotter: Including tonight, the Rangers have seven games before the All-Star break and bye week and my guess is that Shesterkin will get three games, Lundqvist two and Georgiev two. If Shesterkin steps in and carries his AHL/KHL performance and numbers to the NHL then he will remain with the Rangers and ultimately team with Henrik Lundqvist. That scenario leaves Alex Georgiev as the odd-man-out and make it extremely likely that he gets traded by the deadline. Goalies don’t often move at the deadline but Georgiev is cheap ($792,500) and would draw interest from any number of teams that have starter who are struggling or need a back up.
If Shesterkin struggles or needs some more time in the AHL then it’s easy for the Rangers, he goes back to Hartford and they punt the goalie decision to the offseason. The belief from almost everyone around the league is that the Rangers intend for Shesterkin to follow Henrik Lundqvist and that Georgiev will ultimately be moved. The Rangers have seen a lot from Georgiev and on the whole he has impressed and made this a tougher decision than they probably ever anticipated.
Why was this decision to bring up Shesterkin made now? That is hard to say but it’s probably a combination of his performance in the AHL, maybe a promise made that Shesterkin would be in the NHL by a certain point, to avoid him returning to Europe, and a chance to gauge his readiness for the NHL as teams begin calling about Georgiev’s availability. Should the Rangers have made this move a few weeks ago when they could have still had the flexibility to send Georgiev to Hartford? Maybe, but sending him to Hartford at any point would have likely decreased his value. It’s a tricky situation because having three goalies around long-term just doesn’t work. You dress two goalies per game and there are only two nets at practice. Unless injuries strike the only way this gets resolved is by Shesterkin going back to Hartford, unlikely unless he struggles, or Georgiev is traded. I’d expect that the Rangers will return from the All-Star break with a plan of action and it’s hard to think that the plan will include keeping three goalies around.