Goaltending

Alex Georgiev is still a valuable trade chip, regardless of Lundqvist’s retirement decision

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.

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  • Georgiev is fine and shouldn’t be traded — the fact he was the 3rd goalie for the playoffs has more to do with respecting Hank and his contributions over the course of the last 15 years and not his “play”. Clearly it’s Hank that needs to hang the skates up. Besides, Georgiev will still be an inexpensive back up next year. He warrants a raise, but nothing substantial — he won’t be an expensive “second fiddle”, that’s Hank.

    • tanto, logic has nothing to do with this. The only way to guarantee Lundqvist won’t be third string again is to dump Georgiev.

        • Oh, one of those things will happen of course, but retirement is uncertain and Dave does not want a buyout, so he needs to trade Georgiev.

          As for retirement, I just don’t know how much Lundqvist understands. Acknowleging reality for a declining athlete is hard. [One need look no further than teammate Marc Staal who is even risking his future health.] And it does not help that fans deny the fact that if Lundqvist had been swapped to the Canes, he would have been their third best goal tender.

          I personally think that the money is not an issue. Henrik Lundqvist is a very rich man and he would be a fool to suffer the indignity of being third string for a mere $5.5M. If he continues to play, it will be because he thinks he can still do it and wants to play hockey.

          • Georgiev doesn’t NEED to be traded, he’ll come very cheap — at least for next season and possibly 2.

          • Back up goalies are a dime a dozen. It’s been proven over and over again.

            We were screwed if we traded Talbot, that didn’t happen. Then we were screwed if we traded Raanta, that didn’t happen. Just like we won’t be screwed if we trade Georgiev, though I think that his trade value is down the toilet now, so keeping him might be the better value now.

            But he should have been gone at the trade deadline.

  • Georgiev beat out Henrik as the backup last season. Georgie outplayed Henrik. It doesn’t make sense to keep the King as an overpriced backup and trade Georgie now, when his trade value is low. Henrik’s stats have worsened every year as he as aged. It’s only logical that Henrik will be worse still next season while Georgiev should still be improving.

    Georgiev is cheaper and better, even factoring in the a buyout. The only reason to think otherwise is sentiment for the King. And if Georgiev continues to improve his trade value will increase.

  • I would not be adverse to trading Georgiev, but I don’t think his next contract will be expensive. Keep in mind also that if you trade him and Hank retires you need to sign a back up. I think Wall will be the future back up, but he’s at least a year out in my opinion. I am also not sure how high or low for that matter Georgiev’s trade value is. Goalies trade values are complicated and he’s good but hes not amazing. I believe his value is improved in a package of assets as opposed to a one for one. If Toronto is any indication Jeremy Bracco was supposedly the offer.

  • Your article completely omits that Georgi fulfills the Rangers need to have a goalie for the upcoming expansion draft! Shesty is ineligible, but Georgi fits the criteria. If the Rangers trade him then the Rangers are no longer in compliance and they have to get ANOTHER goalie!

  • If you can get good value for your backup goalie, and assuming you don’t have the ability to predict an in jury to your #1, you are absolutely crazy not to take advantage of the situation. My only concern is whether that value remains considering how much he played down the stretch. He may have to be part of a package (eg Anderson) in order to bring back an impact player.

    I am comfortable with the Rangers goalie pipeline to produce a backup after seeing through the last year of Lundqvist’s contract. I just think we owe it to him to go out the right way. If we can’t get value for Gorgiev then perhaps my opinion changes on Lundqvist contract.

    • Whatever Georgiev’s value is in a trade (assuming the best), it can’t make up for the fact he’ll cost $7-7.5M less than Hank (IMO).

      • Tanto, you and are on the same page 99% of the time. This unfortunately is that 1%. lol Not since Messier, Leetch, Graves, and Richter has someone meant more to this organization. I don’t think we are making a run at the Cup next year so my preference is for ‘The King’ to go out respectfully with his head held high. And unless they were considering keeping Strome I don’t see the Cap effecting what we do or can do with the rest of the players that need to be signed. It’s Zib’s Free Agent year and beyond we need to manage appropriately.

        • Yes, “meant” — it’s past tense, time for us to move on with a new generation. I don’t think Hank is the type of goalie that will thrive in a backup role, he needs to play a few games in a row (like 4-5-6) to be at his best (that’s according to Hank himself) … and Shesty will get at least 50 starts next season. At least that how I read the situation … but I understand the push back and love for Hank.

        • When the Rangers signed Panarin and Trouba, I don’t think these guys were agreeing to blow off the 2021 Cup. In fact, I suspect they were not happy to blow off the 2020 Cup in homage to the King.

          The high end estimate for next year’s team is quite high actually. In Panarin and Zibanejad, they have two of the finest forwards in the game. Kreider and Buchnevich are excellent and there are a few other good forwards as well. Then there are Chityl, Kakko, and Kravtsov. In truth, Chityl did little this year and Kakko was awful. Maybe this trio will do little next year. But consider the opposite scenario where the Rangers have three high end first round draft choice forwards coming of age simultaneously. Round out the team with guys who aren’t awful and you have great forwards.

          Next, give Adam Fox more responsibility. Give he and Lindgren first pair responsibility both as ES and on the PK. Give most of the rest of the playing time to Trouba and DeAngelo and maybe Miller. Get some passable low cost journeyman or two to fill out the third pair.

          And Shesterkin is quite possibly the best in the game.

          Sure Chityl, Kakko, Kravtsov, Fox, Miller may not advance and this is all a dream but why write the season off in advance.

          • Ray, you are killing me! lol You think Staal, Smith, Hank, and the 4th line’s replacements makes us a Cup contender?!?! As Keyshawn Johnson says “Com’n Man!” We can carry Lundqvist for 30 games next year without stopping our progression for a real run in 2022.

          • I said no such thing. Take the set of forwards who played in Game 3. Replace Howden and diGuiseppi with Fast and Kravtsov. Now pencil in big step forwards for Kakko, Chityl and Kravtsov. Imagine these three players as not soso players who show flashes, but real stars. We are looking at eight first round picks plus Buchnevich, rounded out by Fast, Lemieux and McKegg. That is an awesome forward corps.

            You have four quality defensemen and if you add a journeyman third pair to play ten minutes a game, the defense is good. And the best goalie in the game.

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

            Sure, if Chityl, Gauthier, Kravtsov, Kakko are duds, next year may not pan out. But you don’t write off the season to let someone play thirty games. If you are going to do that, maybe Mark Zuckerberg will pay the Rangers $20M to play in the NHL.

            Moreover, Henrik Lundqvist is a cancer on the team. He has never helped his skaters. And young players are better served by playing with a goalie who is actually a part of the team.

            Henrik Lundqvist is good at stopping pucks; he was superb at it long ago. But that is all he does. A good analogy is a parent who is always there to help the children by paying off debts, bailing them out of jail, fixing all sorts of problems – but never once offers any guidance or love.

            Playing with Shesterkin or Georgiev makes a player feel better about himself. Playing with Lundqvist makes him feel worse. That’s important when you want to develop kids.

          • Ray that just might be the worst take on Hank that I have ever seen. Did you even listen to what Kreider said? Have you ever heard a teammate say a bad word about him? The answer is no because he is the ultimate competitor and the undisputed face of the franchise for 15 years. You might want him to retire or move on but denigrating what he has meant to this team is foolish imo.

          • You don’t dare badmouth Lundqvist in NY. Players who badmouth their teammates don’t last long. AV did not dare criticize Lundqvist until he was already gone.

            Look, it really does not matter whether he is good or not. The Rangers lose far more often when he plays then when he does not. And this has been true for seven years.

          • You can’t say anything bad about Hank, god forbid. You’d be tarred and feathered.

          • Why say anything bad about one of the most important players in Ranger franchise history?

            This take is about as ignorant as it gets, for you and for whomever else shares that view.

          • “Moreover, Henrik Lundqvist is a cancer on the team.”

            Raymond, you have said some pretty amazing (not a good way) things in the past, but this one tops all. Congrats my friend!!

  • Two words – Ryan Gropp. That’s what the Ranges got for Cam Talbot.

    And Georgiev is not Talbot or Vanbiesbrouck or Raanta. What was impressive about Talbot and Raanta was that they exceeded Lundqvist in admittedly limited action. Well, Georgiev did as well but by now the world knows that this is a pretty low bar. Posting numbers superior to those of a HOFer looks pretty good on a resume. Exceeding a has-been – not so much.

    As for the Bieser, well, I think by the numbers he was likely the finest tender the Ranger system ever produced. Yes the lesser Lundqvist will make the HOF and Richter actually won a Cup, but JVB played in an era in which it was nearly impossible for a goalie to make the HOF and even took an expansion team to the SCF.

  • I like Georgiev a lot and would hate to have to part with the kid. Not sure that it is possible to keep him. I agree that he probably is starting goalie material, only time will tell if he is durable enough for the load.

    Durability is one thing that is sometimes not talked about. Hank was for years, until he got old, very durable. He played at a high level for a very long time. Anti Raanta, who is capable of playing brilliantly, has unfortunately not proven to be durable.

    We don’t know about Igor’s durability yet. It would be good to have a capable backup in the wings. It wouldn’t hurt.

    • Hank was very durable certainly. Staying out of the action as much as possible has its benefits. But he simply did not play at a high level for a very long time, unless you consider eight years a very long time. [Granted, compared to Talbot or Raanta, eight years looks pretty good.]

      People here have selective memory and forgot what happened in 2013-2014. First in December, Talbot played a number of games in a row to give Hank a chance to get his game back together when he was undergoing a serious slump. Second, if you take the identical team except you replace Talbot with an average backup and you place the team in a different city, the Rangers are a lottery team and not a Stanley Cup finalist.

      These are simple facts. If you consider Hank’s W-L record on trade deadline day, and pair it with an average backup, you get a team that is a long shot to make the playoffs, in worse shape i think then this year’s team. When the time came to trade Callahan, a sensible organization (which the Rangers often were not) trades him (to San Jose I think) for prospects and not to Tampa for MSL.

      Of course, the term caught fire after the trade and we forgot how close they came to missing the playoffs entirely.

      People rave about Benoit Allaire. It seems impressive that in recent years he seems able to elevate the game of any Joe off the street to get numbers that exceed Lundqvist’s. The secret of course is that recently better than Lundqvist is a low bar.

      And what makes people think that Hank is not simply what happens if someone with reasonable talent spends his entire career under Allaire. Why is Talbot an Allaire magic trick and Hank is not?

      • Ray, there is a lot of what I think is questionable in your post.

        In 2013-2014 Hank ended up with a .920 save % and 5 shut outs. It really has been the last 4 seasons that his durability and his game has declined. Out of his first 11 seasons he posted a .920 or better save % 8 times. It might not be the everything stat, but it is a pretty decent measure of the goal tender’s effectiveness. So, saying that he played at a high level for a long time is not hyperbole on my part.

        • The 2013-2014 team was possibly the finest defense in the history of the game (excluding any defense with Bobby Orr on it). Cam Talbot posted the second highest save percentage in NHL history among goalies with 20 or more appearances and exceeded Lundqvist by 20 points.
          And we know Cam Talbot was no Ken Dryden. In that context, .920 was not that good.

          [One problem with save percentage is that it varies with the era. And 2013 was great for goalies. JFTR, .920 was 10th among 29 tenders with 40+ games. Above average, but hardly stellar on a team whose other goalie stood at .941.]

          But it is also important to remember his W-L record on deadline day, which I am sure you don’t know. Yes, he had a strong finish, but that would not have mattered if the Rangers were sellers on deadline day and they should have been if not for Talbot’s record.

          2013-2020.

          The Rangers have won exactly half of their games when Lundqvist starts and exactly 4/7 of their games when he did not. Even this is misleading as Lundqvist got most of his starts when the team was good and the backups got most of their starts when the team was bad.

          If you had spent the last seven years betting against the Rangers every time Lundqvist starts and betting on them when he doesn’t, you would be a very rich man. That is not my definition of a good goal tender.

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

          When Tom Renney was coach, Ranger fans were starved for success and along came Hank, the best goaltender in the game at that time.

          • Ray, a huge flaw in your comparisons is: Hank had a .920+ save percentage over the spans of 8 seasons out of his first 10 complete seasons, not during one short part of a one season.

        • And the real crime? You can’t even blame the pandemic for lunacy like this. Because it existed before the pandemic.

          • First I want to say several things that I hope are not controversial.

            1. There is a difference between being a player’s actual value and the joy a fan takes from watching him. This varies from fan to fan of course. Whether one prefers to watch Scott Stevens or Erik Karlsson is a lot about taste. Many fans revere fighters. Except for connoisseurs, I suspect most fans enjoy dynamic players more than one”s who position themselves well.

            2. Fans are biased. (I certainly am.) We value some players more than others because we like them more, usually for good reason. I was livid when the Rangers cut ties with Zuccarello even though it seems clear now that it was the right thing to do. Rationally trying to compare Vanbiesbrouck, Richter, and Lundqvist is impossible for most. Richter won the Cup; Hank rescued a moribund franchise; JVB was merely a good goalie and so a distant third in most hearts.

            3. Assigning value to players is to sum extent a zero sum game. We absolutely know how good the Rangers are. We have their record. Obviously they are not a collection of Gretzkys and Drydens. If you want to say Lundqvist, Panarin, Zibanejad, Fox and DeAngelo are HOFers, you more or less have to say everyone else sucks.

            Most people here denigrate players on the team. (Apologies to Sittoo here as IIRC you do not). In assessing the 2013-2015 Rangers, a clearly excellent team which was not truly great, who gets credit for the defense? The more you value Lundqvist, the less you value McDonagh-Girardi and vice versa.

            I am like most people in this regard except that I assign glory and blame differently than most here. Principally I cut kids less slack and I value stay-at-home defensemen a lot more.

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

            Now for the justification of my assessment of Mr. Lundqvist.

            First let me say that I do not criticize his attitude or the way he treats his teammates. His attitude itself is not the problem; it is the way the organization reacts to that attitude. We just saw courtesy to Hank take precedence over winning the Cup. Now for the facts, based on the only stat that really matters, winning.

            During the period 2013-2018, had the Rangers been as successful in the games started by Lundqvist as they were in the games started by other Ranger goalies, the Rangers would have won eight additional games.

            In the last two years, it has been an additional twelve. Remarkably, in the last two years, the Rangers were 31-31 in games started by Georgiev and 28-50 in games started by Lundqvist. had the Rangers been as successful in lundqvist games this season as in non-Lundqvist, they might have been able to bypass the play-in round.

            What is the explanation? He is bad? He is unlucky? His teammates won’t play for him? It really does not matter. In the only thing that really matters, winning, Lundqvist has been unsuccessful.

    • Shesterkin is not durable. C’mon! A groin injury within five saves!? A broken rib when Buchie gets scratched? He’s just going too fast.

  • Have to reduce cap number, and buying out players will only add to those numbers…our best case scenarios is for both Staal and Hank to retire…and go from there….

  • Henrik is 3rd best goalie on team. He is due his money but should be privately told his playing days are done. He will handle exit gracefully.

    Scouts better start earning their money.

  • Wtactualf are you people peddling about Hank? The guy is on everyoneโ€™s list as the greatest goalie of the last decade, he leads all other goalies by a country mile in GSAA and GSAx, he led the team to the playoffs year after year and posted insane numbers. How many times was he the team MVP? How many times was he and Allstar? Who are the Hall of famers he played with? How many times did he finish top 3 in Vezina voting? How many times was he top 6? He was easily the most consistent, stellar goalie in the NHL for over a decade. This level of denigration borders on lunacy. You can love Igor or Georg, you can hope Gank retires, but to try to make his career something less than unbelievable is just wrong…

  • George would make an excellent backup for Shesterkin. Henk should not end his career as a 3rd. string goalie. He should be bought out. Then he can retire as a career Rangers and be remembered as the superstar netminder he was.

    • For Hank’s sake, I hope that he retires (his actual salary is only $5M), plays a year in Sweden with his brother Joel, and then comes back to work for the Rangers.

      To me, that’s the best, honorable way for all involved, meaning for Hank and the Rangers.

      • At this point I hope Hank does whatever he wants including donning another teamโ€™s jersey. He doesnโ€™t owe the Rangers any favors and they certainly havenโ€™t acted like they owe him anything. He has a contract, they can either honor it or buy him out so he can make his own choice as to how his career ends. Personally I hope he finds a home next year and has a bounce back season so he can retire on a high note not this lengthy humiliation they heaped on him.

  • There is no better goalie then hank the rangers never had a great team only a decent team never had to do with a goalie issue regular season didnโ€™t really do that well they need to start to get players who love to play not a 80 million dollar player and come the playoffs no where to be found Panarin did nothing in the playoffs fox smith stall Chris krider no one stepped up because didnโ€™t have what it took to make things happen donโ€™t have player with heart only a hand full that is not a team but I love my team and I have been supporting them for 40 years and I will continue to do so love my team and we will always support hank he has been a powerhouse a beast for the New York Rangers we will always love him for who he is a classy respectable human being in my house he will always be a one of the greatest goalie ever played the game we are huge fanโ€™s of the king,hank good luck you really never had a great team in front of you that played excellent they always left you up to dry Good luck in your decision we will always stand behind you

  • Guys Georgiev is not going to get traded he did nothing wrong its henriks retire time and Henrik and Georgiev and Igor are amazing on the new york rangers so please leave Georgiev alone and he belongs with the new york rangers and i will miss henrik when he retires because I grew up watching Henrik๐Ÿ˜

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