As Henrik Lundqvist retirement rumors escalate, attention turns to the Alex Georgev trade rumors. The Rangers are committed to Igor Shesterkin moving forward as the starter. The playoff series with Carolina showed that, as Georgiev was an afterthought. Regardless of what order Georgiev and Lundqvist were on the depth chart, Shesterkin was always the number one. That matters.
Even if Lundqvist retires, that doesn’t change Georgiev’s spot on the depth chart. He’s still second fiddle to Shesterkin. And as an RFA, he’s an expensive second fiddle. Georgiev is likely to cost more than the Rangers are willing to spend on a backup goalie. In a flat cap era, this matters.
If Lundqvist doesn’t retire, then the Rangers aren’t likely to buy him out. It’s always a possibility, but it seems unlikely. That still means Georgiev is the odd man out. With three goalies in tow and one already confirmed to be the starter going forward, maximizing trade value is the name of the game. Lundqvist has no trade value. Georgiev has a decent amount of trade value. For all the mental gymnastics you might try to convince yourself otherwise, take a step back and recognize this is the case.
That doesn’t necessarily guarantee that Georgiev is traded at the draft, but it certainly raises the probability. Georgiev is a legitimate starting goalie. He’s not an elite goalie, but he’s still a capable guy who can be the missing piece for a team.
Whatever Lundqvist does with his career, it doesn’t impact Georgiev. The only thing that impacts Georgiev’s Rangers career now is Shesterkin. The rumors of an Alex Georgiev trade won’t end any time soon. And they are warranted. He’s the Vanbriesbrouk to the Rangers’ Richter. The Talbot to Lundqvist. The Raanta to Lundqvist. He’s he clear cut backup to the starter. Lundqvist doesn’t matter now. This is Shesterkin’s team.