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Alexandar Georgiev


Four Potential Landing Spots for Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev

The Rangers called up Igor Shesterkin from the minors after the all-star break and have three goalies on their NHL roster.

The Rangers called up Igor Shesterkin from the minors after the all-star break and have three goalies on their NHL roster. Reports say that Alexandar Georgiev is the most likely of the three to get traded at the Trade Deadline on Feb. 24.

One reason why Alexandar Georgiev may be more likely to get moved is that he will be a RFA this offseason and will be due a new contract. Henrik Lundqvist and Igor Shesterkin are both under contract for 2021.

The Rangers have won a three more games with Georgiev in the net than Henrik Lundqvist but their save percentages are nearly the same. Hank is 9-10-3 with a .908 save-percentage and Georgiev is 12-10-1 with a .910 save-percentage. Georgiev has played well, but not quite well enough to take over as the number-one goaltender.

The Rangers re-called Igor Shesterkin after the American Hockey League (AHL) all-star break ended. In the National Hockey League (NHL), Shesterkin is 2-1 with a .929 save percentage in three games this season. The Rangers are going to give him plenty of chances to show how good he is during the second half. Georgiev has played over 60 NHL games so he can’t be sent down to the minors anymore.

Georgiev has been a competent back-up in his brief NHL career. There are many teams that could use a solid back-up as they attempt to reach the playoffs. These four NHL teams are most in need of a solid back-up or even a starting goalie this season.

Florida Panthers, 3rd in Atlantic

The Panthers are in third-place in their tough division despite free-agent signing Sergei Bobrovsky struggling. Bobrovsky’s back-up Chris Driedger will miss several weeks due to a lower-body injury. Florida’s starting goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky is 31 years old and has missed some time due to injury this year. The Panthers are riding a six-game winning-streak and are playing great hockey. Bringing in Georgiev would bring in a proven-NHL goalie who can help the team avoid losing ground in their playoff hunt.

Las Vegas Golden Knights, 5th in Pacific

I think Vegas is interested in Georgiev. Malcolm Subban has a .898 save-percentage and a 6-7-3 record this season. Vegas is just three points behind the Pacific-division-leaders and might be looking to upgrade at back-up goalie. Marc-Andre Fleury will need to share his workload with a competent back-up down the stretch. Fleury is 34-years-old and has made a lot of playoff starts as well. I think it would be smart for Vegas to upgrade their back-up goalie heading into the second half of the season.

Toronto Maple Leafs, 4th in Atlantic

Georgiev could be a very solid back-up to Fredrik Andersen in Toronto. If a trade were to go down between the Leafs and Rangers, the Blueshirts should ask for 23-year-old winger Kasperi Kapanen in return. Kapanen has 28 points this season (12 goals, 16 assists). The Leafs have enough skilled players like Kapanen to warrant trading Kapanen.

The Leafs mainly want Georgiev because can share the load with Fredrik Andersen. Also, he is good enough to help the team win some games. For this reason, I think the Leafs might consider giving up even a number-one pick for Georgiev.

San Jose Sharks, 6th in Pacific

Martin Jones has struggled this year between the pipes. The 30-year-old ranks second-to-last in save-percentage with a .890. Only Jimmy Howard of the league’s worst team the Detroit Red Wings has a lower save-percentage. Georgiev has been considerably better than Jones on the Rangers who have 50 points, while the Sharks have 48.

San Jose is nine points out of the last wild card spot in the West, so it does not seem like they are interested in a playoff run, and I doubt Georgiev would be able to turn things around significantly on this Sharks team that said goodbye to its captain and most key players Joe Pavelski last offseason.

Shesterkin vs. Georgiev

Going forward, it is a battle for the back-up role between Georgiev and Shesterkin. Georgiev will get his shot in the Rangers 13 games before the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline. Based on Shesterkin’s first three games and the fact that teams like the Sharks reportedly want to make Georgiev their starter, it looks like Georgiev is the odd man out.

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Anthony has been a sportswriter at In The Zone since Sept. 2019. He graduated from Montclair State, where he was assistant Editor of the student newspaper's sports section. He also co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on the campus station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.
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