New York Rangers’ Top Affiliate Team Loses Remainder of Season due to Coronavirus

New York Rangers, Hartford Wolf Pack

While the New York Rangers await word on their season, the Hartford Wolf Pack do not have to wait any longer. On Monday, the AHL has canceled the rest of its 2019-20 regular season as well as the Calder Cup playoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will make the first time since 1936 that the AHL has not awarded the Calder Cup to its champion.

“After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season is not feasible in light of current conditions,” AHL president and CEO David Andrews said in a statement.

Despite being called up in January, current Ranger Igor Shesterkin will still be among the league leaders in many goaltending categories. His 1.90 GAA ranks him second behind Dan Vlader of Providence. He is also second in Save percentage to Vlader as well. Shesterkin had fabulous numbers with the Wolf Pack, finishing with a 17-4-3 record.  Also, Shesterkin had a major impact on the Wolf Pack. When Shesterkin was on their roster, the Wolf Pack’s winning percentage was the best in the Eastern Conference by far, trailing only the Western Conference’s Milwaukee Admirals for best in the league at the point he was called up.

This also puts a twist on the Ranger’s current three goalie rotation, that many have seen as a distraction to the Rangers since Shesterkin has been called up. It is more than likely that any NHL team that resumes play will have to bring up players, since their top affiliate’s league has been canceled, and this will most certainly include having at least 3 goaltenders.

Every NHL team that goes deep into the playoffs usually carries a group of minor leaguers around in case of injury. This year, expect that number to increase substantially as many are concerned that teams who may be returning after the break could see an increase in minor injuries.

Now we wait and see if some of those Hartford Wolf Pack will be among those playing with the New York Rangers if the Blueshirts are included in some kind of reboot to the current season.