In hindsight the New York Rangers should’ve kept Lundqvist and traded Georgiev last season
The New York Rangers have certainly done many things right over the last few seasons. However, since hindsight has perfect 20/20 vision, it looks like the organization may have completely misplayed their goaltending situation regarding backup Alexandar Georgiev.
Of course, at some point we can revisit this after the season to see if I’m wrong. At least for now, it seems that maybe moving Georgiev for whatever they could get and keeping Lundqvist for one more year would’ve been the better route.
Rangers should have kept Lundqvist
Back at the end of the 2020 season, the team opted to hold on to Georgiev and buyout Henrik Lundqvist. A move that upset the fanbase and caused two years of dead cap space that ends this season with a remaining $1.5 million.
Things have not turned out as they hoped with the 25 year-old Georgiev struggling mightily this year.
At one point this summer, the Rangers were said to be shopping Georgiev. According to Larry Brooks, they didn’t receive a single bite.
Georgiev, unhappy with his status as backup to Shesterkin, has wanted out for a while, even if he might never have formally requested general manager Chris Drury to trade him. The Blueshirts made Georgiev available over the summer, but never got more than a nibble.NY POST
One of the main reasons for the lack of interest could have also been the rumored asking price from Chris Drury of a first round pick. A sign that the organization has likely overvalued Georgiev’s worth around the NHL for a long time.
As for Lundqvist, after the buyout he signed a one year deal with the Capitals but never played because of a heart condition that needed surgery and eventually forced him to retire.
While Hank may not have been able to help the Rangers on the ice, he would’ve retired a Ranger and that would’ve meant a lot to fans of the team.
As for Georgiev, the Blueshirts likely would’ve gotten a second round pick for him at the 2020 Draft.
Georgiev probably going to be lost for nothing
The Blueshirts are certainly in a conundrum and face the real fact that Georgiev could be lost for nothing. Either on waivers or just letting him walk at the end of the season.
Georgiev is an RFA with arbitration rights, with sources indicating the Rangers have no plans to sign him.
It’s hard to see any team giving up much for him at this point. This season, he has a 2-1-1 record with a 4.08 GAA and a SV% of .858. Could he even fetch a mid-round pick at this juncture? Likely not.
Right now, Drury’s best play is to keep him around and see if he can find his game again. It’s also possible that if Georgiev finds no takers on the open market the Blueshirts could get him back for less than his current $2.425 cap hit.
The Rangers will have plenty of UFA options also to pick from in free agency. Some of those potential names include Braden Holtby, Darcy Kuemper, and Martin Jones.
In the end, Igor Shesterkin will probably have a new partner via free agency to back him up in 2022-23.
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