The New York Rangers have been no stranger to the NHL trade rumor mill. However, they were thrust further into the spotlight Monday night when Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Fredrick Anderson left the game after colliding with a Florida Panthers player. The Maple Leafs have been one of the main teams linked in trade talks with Rangers backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev.
Anderson out Wednesday, Shesterkin in net for the New York Rangers
On Tuesday, the Maple Leafs announced that Michael Hutchinson will start Wednesday against the Rangers, while Kasimir Kaskisuo will serve as his backup. Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said Frederik Andersen has been diagnosed with a neck injury and his status is listed as day-to-day. Andersen has been the Leafs’ workhorse in net, starting 42 of their 53 games and posting a 24-9-6 record with .910 save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average. After Monday night’s loss, Hutchinson dropped to 4-8-1 on the season loss with a .886 save percentage and a 3.62 goals-against average. He also allowed three goals on 10 shots in the third period as the Leafs blew a 3-1 lead. It was this lack of production from Hutchinson that has prompted trade talks for a more productive backup such as the Rangers’ Georgiev. Another goaltender the Leafs are interested in the Chicago Blackhawks’ Robin Lehner. The downside to Lehner is that he will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, making the restricted free agent Georgiev a bit more desirable for a long term solution.
In an interesting move related to this, the Rangers announced that Igor Shesterkin would start in goal Wednesday night against the Leafs. Previously, Georgiev has been given the start due to previous success against Toronto. All of this has led to more speculation that a deal may be imminent. Henrik Lundqvist will probably serve as the backup.
And to further add to the trade intrigue, the Toronto Marlies announced that Jeremy Bracco was a scratch on Tuesday night for “personal reasons”. Bracco has been mentioned as a possible trade option for the Maple Leafs. He is considered to be NHL ready but cannot break the talented forward lines of the Maple Leafs. Bracco has posted four goals and 34 points in 44 AHL games this season. During the 2018-19 season, he recorded 22 goals and 79 points in 75 games.