What impact will Jonathan Quick have with the Rangers next season?

jonathan quick
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At the end of the 2022-23 season, the New York Rangers parted ways with backup goalie Jaroslav Halák, who joined the team last offseason. As a veteran of 17 seasons, he came to a team fresh off a loss in the Eastern Conference Final and was expected to give Igor Shesterkin a chance to have some nights off. 

Unfortunately, the situation didn’t go according to plan, as Halák was unreliable enough to finish the job in 25 games. Despite posting a 10-9-5 record in his appearances, he gave up 66 goals while posting a .903% save percentage (SV%). Even though he was backstopping a Stanley Cup contender, his performance on Broadway will be forgettable when looking back on his career.

Considering that Shesterkin will be in the Vezina Trophy conversation as the league’s best goalie for the next few years, he needs an understudy capable of winning games when he takes time off. Moreover, if the Rangers want to win the playoffs, they can’t expect him to play 60-70 games because the wear and tear on his body will lead to more injuries. 

Shesterkin has not had a healthy campaign since taking the reigns from Henrik Lundqvist in 2020. With plenty of elite netminders available in free agency, the Rangers opted to sign three-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick to a one-year deal

What can Rangers fans expect from Jonathan Quick? 

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Jonathan Quick grew up in Milford, CT, less than 90 minutes northeast of Madison Square Garden. As a kid, he wore Rangers t-shirts and once represented the Rangers minor ice hockey team at a tournament in Quebec. After earning some honors in college and the ECHL, he eventually won two Stanley Cup championships (2012 and 2014) and the Conn Smythe Trophy (2012) with the Los Angeles Kings. 

However, his best years are behind him at this point, and despite winning a third Stanley Cup title with the Vegas Golden Knights in the spring, he didn’t skate a single minute in the postseason. Realistically, at this stage, the 37-year-old is returning home to the franchise he admired as a kid and has a chance to be a mentor to one of the game’s brightest stars in Shesterkin. 

Although the Kings employed one of the game’s best defensive forwards, Anze Kopitar, and gave up the 16th most goals in the league, the Rangers operate a completely different game plan. Statistically, New York gave up the fourth fewest goals against while scoring the 12th most goals, one tally behind the Kings. 

Even though Quick is not as fast or flexible anymore to stop today’s top snipers, he will benefit from being behind one of the league’s better defensive units. When the Rangers head into training camp in September, their back end will be full of young players like former Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox (24), K’Andre Miller (23), Ryan Lindgren (24), team captain Jacob Trouba (28), and now Erik Gustafsson (30).

Ultimately, these guys are good enough to bail out their goalie in any situation, and with a high-octane offense scoring at the other end, Quick won’t be relied upon to stand on his head to win games. Even though he came to New York at the same age as Halák, there’s a significant difference in their styles and resumes. 

Jonathan Quick brings championship pedigree to Rangers

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Heading into the 2022-23 season, Barclay Goodrow was the only member of the Rangers roster with his name on the Stanley Cup, winning back-to-back titles with the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, since being eliminated in the first round by their rival, the New Jersey Devils, general manager Chris Drury has brought in Nick Bonino (two rings) and Quick (three rings), bringing their championship totals to seven. 

Unfortunately, long-time Rangers players like Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider have never won it all, and young players like Kappo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere need more guidance to reach their potential as top overall picks. Although Bonino (34) and Quick are past their primes, it takes a team to win the Stanley Cup, and these two veterans with playoff experience will be an important voice in the room and on the bench. 

Of course, the entire experiment could go wrong, and Quick has his worse season, while Bonino ends up a healthy scratch or something. But these two are professionals and want to add to their legacies by winning in the United States’ largest hockey market. Ultimately, fans should expect someone like Quick to give whatever he can, just like when he arrived in Las Vegas at the trade deadline.

After a mediocre first half with the Kings, 11-13-4, Jonathan Quick responded with his new team, finishing the year with a 5-2-2 record. Although he had limited time to adjust to his new surroundings, he’ll be busy working with New York’s coaching staff all summer to gear up for a bounce-back year. 

Considering that Shesterkin is one of the most important players in the Rangers lineup, it makes sense to protect him at all costs. Ultimately, New York couldn’t pass up hiring a veteran who may not win 20 games as a backup but provide invaluable insight into the goaltending profession. Of course, there will be good and bad nights, but fans should appreciate the entire picture instead of focusing on just bits and pieces. 

Some of Ryan Gagne's all-time favorite goalies have been Mike Richter, Henrik Lundqvist, and Igor Shesterkin. As a Yankees... More about Ryan Gagne

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