Rangers recent recall creates questions for veteran player’s future

New York Rangers goaltender Dylan Garand (98) drinks water during a game against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are now just nine days away from the start of the 2023-24 regular season, giving the team very little time to make final decisions on their opening night roster. Head coach Peter Laviolette has stated that there will be a “starting point” to the Rangers’ roster, but nothing will be permanent throughout the initial portion of the year.

The Rangers continue to make various cuts to send rookies back down to the AHL, but earlier today, the Blueshirts made a surprising recall.

The Rangers have recalled a young goaltender

According to Vince Mercogliano, the Rangers have recalled goaltending prospect Dylan Garand from the Hartford Wolfpack. It’s likely to add some depth to the goalie position heading into back-to-back games to wrap up the preseason. However, before today, it was heavily implied that both Igor Shesterkin and Jonathan Quick would be splitting the remaining playing time.

It’s now likely that Garand will take significant ice time away from either Shesterkin or Quick. Shesterkin already appears to be in mid-season form, but Quick still requires some work to get back into shape. It will likely be the Rangers’ star goaltender who has some playing time taken away, which isn’t devastating by any means, but it would have been nice to see Shesterkin receive as much time as possible to practice before the regular season begins.

Quick has had a rough start to his tenure with the Rangers

Throughout preseason so far, Quick has been far from impressive in the games he’s played in. He’s allowed far too many goals in a short amount of time, and many of these goals were quite weak. At 37 years old, Quick is many years past his prime, but he’s still managed to fall short of the Rangers’ average expectations so far.

“Quick is not only adapting to a different role, he is attempting to bounce back from the poorest season of his career, through which he posted an .882 save percentage and was toward the bottom of the league in analytical categories such as Saves Above Expected and Goals Saved Above Average.”

via Larry Brooks of NY Post

The Rangers require a suitable backup to play behind Igor Shesterkin. Year after year, Shesterkin is forced to start in far too many games because of poor goaltending depth. By the time the playoffs roll around, he’s too tired and worn down to carry the Rangers like he does in the regular season. If Quick does not get back on his feet soon, there could be a possible change early on.

Does Garand have a shot at replacing Quick?

It will be interesting to watch how both Garand and Quick perform in the final two games of the preseason. Where Quick has looked brutal out on the ice, the young prospect in turn has looked decent. He’s only 21 years old and probably needs a few more years to develop in the AHL, but if Quick continues to disappoint, the Rangers may be forced to look at other options.

For now, it may be too soon to make any final decisions on Quick’s future. He’s still a solid backup who’s working with a new team, and coming out of a year filled with injuries. It will take time for Quick to make adjustments and get back into shape, so judging him on two bad games seems like jumping the gun a bit.

If Quick fails to find his game, the Rangers may look to utilize Garand as their backup in the future. However, it seems as if the veteran is almost a lock for the start of 2023-24. This recall is likely for depth purposes to close out the preseason, and Quick’s future should not be in jeopardy just yet.

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