Rangers may face another division realignment, Alexandar Georgiev work visa problems

The New York Rangers have been waiting, along with the other 30 teams, for the NHL and NHLPA to finalize plans and announce a start of the upcoming season.

Those plans may be delayed even more with indications coming out of Canada that medical agreements between the provincial health authorities and the NHL have not occurred as of yet. The seven Canadian teams may have to play all of their games in the United States.

Last week reports of realignments of the NHL’s four divisions ran ramped with the hope that some official news of when the NHL would begin the season were poised to surface.

The Rangers were reportedly in a division with the Islanders, Devils, Flyers, Capitals, Penguins, and the Bruins.  Those plans seemed to be on hold now as an all- Canadian division seems moot if those teams would be playing home games with the United States.

This could benefit the Blueshirts as the Bruins would go back to their regular division enabling the team to focus on their own division foes.

The  Public Health Agency of Canada released a statement in which it said,

via Frank Seravalli

The seven teams were notified of the possibility of not playing home games in their country on a phone call Thursday per Bruce Garrioch of TSN.

The main concern here is the players’ families.  Players have said throughout the conversations on how and when to start the season that they would not consider any kind of bubble as they went through this past summer. Even a shorten 56-game NHL season would be a hardship on families if they would be separated from one another for up to six months.

Alex Georgiev Visa Trouble

Newsday’s Colin Stephenson reported on Thursday that goaltender Alexandar Georgiev may miss the beginning of training camp due to a work visa issue. He recently signed a new contract which automatically requires a new work visa.

Georgiev remains in Finland until the issue gets resolved which is not expected to be a long-term problem. The Rangers back-up goalie will have to go into quarantine whenever he returns to New York which is the reason he could miss some training camp time should he return to the big apple after the New year.

New York Islanders: 3 key remaining targets in free agency

New York Islanders, Anthony Duclair

The first day of free agency has come and gone, and the New York Islanders didn’t make any moves. You can blame this on salary cap issues. The Isles can’t lose their big 3 RFA’s, but they also need to improve. Thomas Greiss recently signed with Detroit, and a couple of the other minor UFA’s will leave soon as well. I’ve pointed out 3 targets that the Islanders should try to sign to make up for these losses. One of them may surprise you.

Three targets in FA for the New York Islanders:

Anthony Duclair

I love Anthony Duclair with all of my heart. I don’t know if it’s the way he plays or just how he’s been doubted on every team he’s been on. Duclair is 24 years old and recently erupted on the NHL scene with his performance this past season in Ottawa. Duclair recorded 23 goals and 17 assists in 66 games. This will no doubt solve some of the scoring issues the Isles have at wing. Duclair can either be on the 2nd or 3rd line, probably will be paired with his old teammate, JG Pageau. Duclair is also representing himself, so Lamoriello can probably chip away a few thousand to give to others.

Tyler Toffoli

Tyler Toffoli is often overlooked when people think of good scoring wingers in the NHL. Toffoli is exactly what the Islanders need right now. Toffoli recorded 24 goals and 20 assists in 68 games this past season. The signing will not be cheap at all, but it’s cheaper than a Mike Hoffman. Toffoli is a better team player, leader, and overall better locker room guy than Hoffman as well. Lou might be in on Toffoli; no one would ever know.

Alexander Georgiev

“Why’d he put a goalie on this list? We already have Sorokin and Varlamov”. Well, after those two, who’s the AHL goalie? Christopher Gibson went to Tampa. Linus Soderstrom is in Finland permanently. There needs to be another goalie who is capable of playing if god forbid one of the goalies gets hurt. Georgiev is perfect for this role. It’s a cheap signing, and yet he’s still a good goalie. I don’t think Isles fans would mind seeing him relief in between the pipes.

New York Ranger Prospect Tylor Wall Could Ease Goaltending Situation

New York Rangers, Alexandar Georgiev

As Alexander Georgiev prepares to make his second consecutive start for the New York Rangers, the media and the internet keep wondering how long the Blueshirts will carry three goaltenders. The likely scenario is that one of the three will get traded, with Georgiev the likely candidate. The thought of losing any of them can be eased by the fact that the Rangers have a very solid goaltending prospect in UMass-Lowell netminder Tyler Wall.

Not Just Another Brick in the Wall for the New York Rangers

Wall was selected by the Rangers in the sixth round with the 174th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. After a nice freshman season, Wall struggled a bit in his sophomore campaign. He turned things around when he started 21 games for the River Hawks in his junior campaign, posting an 11-7-3 record. He amassed a 2.09 GAA and a .921 save percentage with four shutouts. In his senior year so far, Wall has posted a stellar 1.80 GAA while compiling a 12-3-4 record, not to mention an outstanding .941 save percentage.

UMass-Lowell has been known for turning out NHL quality goaltenders which include alumni such as Carter Hutton (Chicago, Nashville, St. Louis, Buffalo), Kevin Boyle (Anaheim) and Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg). Back in November, Wall was tabbed as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for the third consecutive week, also receiving that honor for four of those previous six weeks. He was also named the  Hockey East Goaltender of the month for November. The UML senior is a candidate to win the Mike Richter Award, which is given to honor the outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. Yes, that Mike Richter, who has his number 35 retired by the Rangers.

Wall has attended multiple Rangers Prospects Development camps. It was there he witnessed first-hand that hard work is what separates those who climb the hockey ladder from those who do not. Between these camps and his performance at UML, the conventional wisdom has the Rangers signing Wall to a contract and letting him begin his career in the AHL. Steady progress could mean that Wall would be ready around the time Henrik Lundqvist’s contract expires and/or when he decides to retire. The Rangers would be very happy to have a solid Wall in the net for the foreseeable future.