When the New York Rangers did not make a deal with Toronto to trade Alexandar Georgiev, it sent out a signal that they are likely to hold on to him and keep three goalies on their active roster. Unless the Rangers make a trade before the February 24 deadline, they will be rotating these goalies, and it looks like the odd man out in this situation will be their longtime netminder, Henrik Lundqvist.
Shesterkin to start for the New York Rangers on Sunday
On Saturday, head coach David Quinn announced that Igor Shesterkin would get the start for Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. This signals a pattern that seems to have Georgiev and Shesterkin sharing starts, with Lundqvist likely to serve as the backup. Shesterkin has a 4-1 record since joining the Rangers with a .922 save percentage and a 2.61 goals-against average. He has been everything the Rangers had hoped for when they called him up from Hartford a little over a month ago. Georgiev has played well in the time that he has started, going 12-10-1 this season with a .909 save percentage and 3.12 GAA.
What will happen to Henrik Lundqvist?
It does not appear that the Rangers really want to trade Georgiev, and there does not appear to be many teams that are willing to pay the price the Rangers want. With Toronto off the trade list, the only other team that has a glaring need for his services is the San Jose Sharks, and they will probably not offer an NHL top 6 forward. If the two youngsters rotate starts, this will leave Lundqvist as the backup, getting only an occasional start. Lundqvist is signed through next season at a cap hit of $8.5 million and owns a full no-move clause in his contract, which he does not appear willing to waive. A likely scenario has the Rangers making a clean break with the 37-year-old by buying out his contract in June, clearing $3 million in space for next season, while adding a $1.5 million cap hit for the following year. The tough thing is that Lundqvist has not played badly this year, posting a 10-11-3 record this season with a .907 save percentage and a 3.13 goals-against average.