Goaltending

What to do with Alex Georgiev

As the season progresses, we will get more insight into how the Rangers plan on managing Henrik Lundqvist’s workload, and what that plan means for Alex Georgiev. Georgiev appeared in 33 games last year while Lundqvist struggled to maintain his god-like form. Georgiev also put up better numbers, both raw and advanced, than Lundqvist, and many see it as a sign that The King is fading and Georgiev is the future. That is, of course, before you account for Igor Shesterkin in the AHL, and the heir apparent to Lundqvist.

If that plan holds true –and there is a lot that needs to go right for Shesterkin next year– then that leaves the Rangers in an interesting position with Georgiev. It is expected that Georgiev will get a 50/50 split with Lundqvist this year, and for good reason. It is also expected that Georgiev puts up very similar numbers to last season, and should improve as the Rangers’ blue line improves. Which again begs the question – what do the Rangers do with him next season?

On his final year of his ELC, Georgiev will be just 24 years old when his contract expires. Lundqvist will have a year remaining on his contract, and it’s safe to say he will play out that final year, his age-38 season. With Shesterkin waiting in the wings, Georgiev might actually be the Blueshirts’ best trade chip next summer.

Now again, a lot needs to go right, which is why the Rangers likely didn’t dangle Georgiev this offseason. Shesterkin is far from a guarantee, and he may even need more than one year before he’s ready for the NHL. Heck, Georgiev might struggle this season and show that he might actually be best served as a backup and not a starter (Not that I think that’s realistic, but hey it might happen.).

That is about 400 words to say that the goaltending plan of the future is fluid. We like to think life in the NHL is like the NHL games, where highly touted prospects are guarantees, injuries don’t really happen, and everyone pans out how they should. Life doesn’t work like that, and Jeff Gorton is hedging his bets against Shesterkin struggling, or even injuries. It’s also worth noting that Georgiev might not fetch as much as we think in a trade, since goalie value is voodoo.

It’s also worth noting that each time a starting goalie like this leaves the Rangers and the tutelage of The Wizard Benoit Allaire, his numbers start great and then tank. Cam Talbot is a great example here. But Antti Raanta took a nosedive last year, albeit due to injuries. Both were in their 30s when they started to decline though, and Georgiev is just 23 years old today. Not exactly apples and oranges, but worth keeping in your back pocket.

The only thing we know for sure is the plan for this year. Lundqvist and Georgiev will get closer to a 50/50 timeshare at the NHL level. Shesterkin and Adam Huska will get the time in Hartford. The rest is for the fates to decide.

"What to do with Alex Georgiev", 5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
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32 Comments

  1. “goalie value is voodoo” could be the quote of the summer!

    other than “Breadman comes home!”

    or

    “with the second pick in the nhl dratt the New York Rangers select…..”

  2. Dave… can you see Shesty playing between 10 to 20 games for the Rangers this season?

    1. Hank has 2 years left on his shares of the NY Rangers. I’d like to see Gorgiev backing up Shesterkin one day. If the day comes that the Rangers have to trade Georgiev so be it but having 2 young goalies on ELC or at least both still as RFA’s under team cost control. It would be nice not having to worry about paying big dollars to a UFA goalie.

    2. Whether they are in a rebuild or build status, they are not in a cup contender status. Trade Hank for assets and cap space. They don’t need him in any role at this time, other then to enrich their talent base. An augment can be made to keep Staal as a mentor. Their defensemen are young and talented, and the Rangers don’t have a Benny to make their defensemen elevate their skill set.

      1. That is gonna be Quinn’s job and the job of his staff. They did a great job with D’Angelo last season. That was the first season D’Angelo put his political views away and kept quiet in the locker room about things other than the game.
        The coaching staff needs to create a powerful 6 man unit. In my humble opinion the Rangers biggest weakness during their years of contention was their back end. Teams that won the Cup had mobile defenses that start the play.

    3. I have been a ranger fan since 89. Never been to New York. But as a hockey player and fan, Henrik needs to go. He has turned his game into look how pretty I am. He was great when he was young, now though, let him go. He is holding the rangers back. You want to rebuild, then rebuild and get rid of him.

      1. Damon

        You may be right, or wrong, but Hank isn’t going anywhere as long as he wants to stay here. The Rangers can’t trade him unless he wants to be elsewhere!!!!!!!!!

  3. Predicting anything about the team at this point is pure speculation. Until these guys lace up their skates and start playing, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can be sure of how they’ll perform. The rookies still haven’t been exposed to NHL level play, the new veterans still haven’t played NHL hockey with any of their team mates, the coaches haven’t seen which lines and D pairs actually work the best together, and the team as a whole has yet to face any actual opposition on the ice. BUT, it’s only 17 days until training camp opens, and then the fun begins!

  4. Wrong question Dave. The question should be “What to do with Henrik Lundqvist” … and I have no definitive answer for that, maybe his play this season will determine that … I’m all in favor of Hank retiring as a Ranger, but not at the cost of losing Georgiev unless Georgiev can bring home a 1st rounder (at a minimum) — and the odds of that happening are slim, very slim. Best scenario is Georgiev outplays Hank again and Hank realizes it’s best to go out on a relative high than on a low — and he takes a cushy management job with the Rangers.

    Re: Raanta, that albeit is rather BIG … he played 11.5 games … and he was a goalie in his later 20’s (26-28), Georgiev on the other hand is young and already had 2 years of tutelage at a young age (21-23) with Benny. Maybe the lessons learned will better stick with Georgiev because of that.

    1. Amen to that. What to do with Hank. We asked him to leave and he wouldn’t. He won’t retire this year. And his selfishness has cost us a buyout of shatty. Dead cap space is bad regardless of who it’s for.

      1. Selfishness? Oh because you would just walk away from your job and home… or just retire and decline $17 million dollars.. get a clue, this guy has been the backbone of this organization for 15 years.the least they can do is let him play it out.

    2. Most of us who have watched the Rangers during Hank’s tenure with the team have seen games that he stole outright by incredible play. I will always remember the great things he’s done with the team.

      But, after his performance last season, I have my doubts about his ability to rebound at age 38 and be a competent goalie for the club for a full season. Georgiev at this point deserves a shot at the starting job. If he outplays Hank, then Quinn should do the best thing for the team and go with the kid. If that happens, then Hank should consider retiring gracefully, especially if Igor seems to be ready to jump to the NHL.

      Hank has been a dependably great net minder for the team for a very long time. He has nothing left to prove in my book. If his skills have diminished, he should hang up the skates if he can’t do the job consistently any longer and not tarnish his legacy with poor play.

      I hope he rebounds, I guess we will see whether he can in a few weeks.

      1. Peter

        Great post and agree, but we have too many who won’t let go of the past, and get too emotionally involved with history. I think that Hank has to make the decision either way, and if he retires, he goes to work on the Gilbert plan, “Lifetime” job………………………..

    3. …and to joe’s point, maybe Shesterkin backs up Georgiev, we just don’t know until play starts. Seriously though, how fun is this going to be?

  5. Matt Murray was 21 years old when he won the Stanley Cup as a rookie.
    Jordan Bennington was 25 years old when he won the Stanley Cup as a rookie
    Agree that the Rangers are not a gifted defensive team and that Igor most likely needs work in the minors but the days of “years in the minors to hone his craft” are over.

    Hopefully, Igor will be the real deal.

  6. The situation is very fluid and even what you think you know is suspect.

    “Lundqvist will have a year remaining on his contract, and it’s safe to say he will play out that final year, his age-38 season.”

    Safe to say? I am expecting a retirement in January, more or less. Last year was the sixth year in a row Hank was outperformed using traditional stats by another Ranger goaltender, but the first year where he clearly faced easier opposition than his partner. He is still capable of an extraordinary game (witness the All-Star game), maybe even two or three in a row on occasion, but I think even he knows now that he cannot sustain it for a menaingful length of time. He is a proud man. I doubt he wishes to hang around when he really doesn’t belong. Mind you, I am being optimkistic about the other tenders. If Georgeiv and Shesty are not ready to handle the duties, Hank will not leave the Rangers in the lurch.

    “The only thing we know for sure is the plan for this year. Lundqvist and Georgiev will get closer to a 50/50 timeshare at the NHL level. Shesterkin and Adam Huska will get the time in Hartford.”

    Hartford signed a goal tender – don’t recall his name. I would not be surprised if the plan is to send Huska to Maine. This has two upsides. I suspect the veteran is better than Huska who may not be ready AND it means both Shesty and Huska can play regularly.

    *******************

    I definitely believe the Rangers should do nothing in the short term – except of course focus on development. Georgiev’s trade value is likely very low and we do not know how things will play out. Even if Shesty is very good, Georgiev may be better (not predicting, just voicing a possibility). Hold on to both as long as possible, which alas may not be any longer than this season in some scenarios.

    1. Wow you and Hank must be really tight for you to have such a handle on how he feels. Please tell us more, do you know tomorrow’s NJ lottery number?

  7. “The only thing we know for sure is the plan for this year. Lundqvist and Georgiev will get closer to a 50/50 timeshare at the NHL level.”

    I’ve been traveling, did I miss something? If you are going to write this, Dave, at least back it up. Is there a quote?

  8. 3 year extension, frontloaded and bonus heavy for year 1, then flip him at the deadline if Shestyorkin is the real deal(which he is.)

        1. I understand each and every word as individuals. It’s when they are put together in inarticulate sentences that I have the issue. Also, when people claim truths that are really just their own opinion.

  9. If Shesty is lights out in Oct and Nov in Hartford, then JD and Gorton have a very interesting issue on their hands.

    Especially if last year does not turn out to be the exception for Henrik, meaning that a noticeable decline is occurring.

    My guess is that Shesty is the real deal.

  10. “God like form”, you need to stop contributing to the disillusioned masses. Lundqvist hasn’t been very good for a couple of years now. This selfish, overpaid narcissist needs to see the writing on the wall and walk away gracefully. So tired of management, the media, and fans catering to this obnoxious fools inability to face reality.

  11. This entire discussion is moot. The Rangers may very well (probably) lose Georgiev to the expansion draft since they have to expose a goalie who played in the NHL next year and Lundqvist can’t be the one since he has a no-trade clause. Georgiev is gone unless they trade him first. The only solution I can see is if they trade for a backup late in the season who played the minimum games needed to use as fodder in the expansion draft.

    1. The minimum number of games by the way is zero. This is not a problem. People here worry way too much about the expansion draft.

      Incidentally, Lundqvist’s NMC is irrelevant as his contract is expiring. However, not being under contract for 2021-22 means he doesn’t count.

    2. No game requirements for goalies. They can expose Huska(even Wall or Lindbom once under contract.)

      1. Actually I don’t think they can expose Huska, Wall, Lindbom or Shesty. First and second year players are protected and as I read the rules cannot count as exposed players. I don’t think you can waive that protection as you see fit but I am not certain about the interpretation.

  12. Georgie is Hank’s back up – (he has earned it)…for now. With the advent of Shesty, this makes it a good “problem”. Georgie played an amazing second half for us last season and the young Bulgarian has now one season under his belt. I can’t wait for training camp – whatever happens, good young competition is a welcome sign.

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