New York Rangers Keeping Shesterkin on Roster May Signal Georgiev Trade is Imminent

New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist
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When the AHL announced that New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin was unavailable for it’s All-Star Game, it signaled to everyone that a trade involving Alexandar Georgiev might be near. The thought was that Shesterkin may be sent down for a game or two, thus allowing him to play in the AHL classic and therefore buying time for the Blueshirts to sort out their three goalie situation. Keeping Shesterkin indicates a trade will be coming sooner rather than later, something that may have an added sense of urgency after a disappointing loss Tuesday night to the New York Islanders.

Who Could the New York Rangers Trade Georgiev to?

The biggest trade partner seems to be the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, various reports seem to indicate that there is not a firm idea of who the Leafs would give up for Georgiev. Some reports have suggested that the Rangers would not give him up for a draft pick or prospect.

This led to speculation that the main target might be Kaspari Kapernan, who is a potential 20-goal-scorer with elite speed and penalty-killing abilities. However, many feel that this is too much to offer for the Rangers goaltender, who is very much needed but projected as a backup in Toronto. The most likely scenario is for Toronto to offer prospect Jeremy Bracco. The 22-year-old is currently playing in the AHL and has been reported as a player who has excellent vision and is an excellent passer. He is also a creative skater who uses his edgework to deceive defenders and create space to make plays.

A darkhorse for Georgiev’s services are the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they have struggled to find a reliable backup for Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning signed Curtis McElhinney as a free-agent, but he has played all that well. Tampa Bay also has tried a myriad of netminders at their AHL affiliate in Syracuse N.Y., but that has not turned out very well. At the halfway point, no goaltender in Syracuse has a save percentage above .900 or a goals-against average below 3.00. Georgiev would fit in nicely in Tampa Bay.

Another possibility could be the Colorado Avalanche, where the sighting of New York Ranger scouts has been a regular occurrence at Avs games. The thought was it was concerning a possible Chris Kreider trade, but the Avalanche could also use a solid backup in goal as they make a playoff run.