Alexandar Georgiev has done nothing but impress the New York Rangers, but that doesn’t guarantee his story here ends happily ever after.
It’s no secret: The New York Rangers‘ future in goal is set.
Original top prospect Igor Shesterkin was set to take the reins from Henrik Lundqvist, but the emergence of Alexandar Georgiev in net over the last three years might be forcing the Rangers to think long and hard about their plans.
Should New York want to go with the original plan—Shesterkin—they must move on from Georgiev and that could happen as soon as this season. Georgiev is now just three games until he is no longer waiver exempt which would force them to move him sooner than they would like.
The only problem moving a player like him is the fact that his value to the Rangers might be higher compared to other teams around the league, and history supports that.
When looking at the last two goalies the Rangers traded in similar shoes as Georgiev’s, the return New York saw felt like a letdown.
It started with Cam Talbot in 2014-15, who was moved to the Edmonton Oilers that summer after saving the Rangers season following a significant injury to Lundqvist in early February. Talbot’s play established him as one of the better backups in the league and granted him a chance to be a starter elsewhere.
Ultimately, the Rangers sent him to Edmonton for three draft picks after looking for a first-rounder. Instead, they received a second, third and seventh-round pick in exchange for the netminder.
While New York made out pretty well in that deal, most were hoping to see a higher pick or a prospect in exchange for Talbot’s services; but most teams were unwilling to do anything more for a relatively unknown player. Instead, they felt comfortable trading three “unknowns” for the one who had greater potential.
Fast-forward a couple of years and New York found itself in a similar situation with Antti Raanta, who found success in stretches when Lundqvist was searching for his game. Even with Raanta’s situation a little different compared to Talbot’s, New York ultimately went on to move him to a team that felt he could start during free agency.
The trade itself was a little different than Talbot’s, considering it was just one part of a much bigger deal. New York sent him along with Derek Stepan, which turned into the seventh-overall pick (Lias Andersson) and Tony DeAngelo.
New York saw more value head its way because they sent over one of the better centers in the league, along with Raanta. If this was just a deal for Raanta straight up, the deal would have been far less enticing.
It doesn’t just end with Raanta and Talbot, though; the Sabres only sent a first-round pick to Ottawa in the Robin Lehner trade because David Legwand was involved in the deal along with Lehner’s 3.02 goals-against-average. Lehner was in a similar situation to Talbot’s that summer. The major difference in their eventual deals was the extra player.
With the possibility of a deal in play, it is almost to remember the desperation factor of teams in search of goaltending. Teams aren’t really looking for starting goaltending at the moment and most don’t need to make a move right now.
Of the teams reportedly looking for goaltending on the trade market, the Toronto Maple Leafs, keep popping up. There is just one problem: Frederik Andersen.
Andersen is considered one of the top goaltenders in the NHL, so this would not be one of those deals Georgiev would step right in and start making a possible deal for a backup goaltender compared to the Raanta/Talbot/Lehner deals.
Let’s just say the Rangers don’t want to go the trade route and they keep him. The only way he can go to Hartford will be through waivers and he would most likely not make it past the other 30 teams in the NHL, similarly to the Malcolm Subban situation with Boston a couple of years ago.
The way Georgiev has played this season has given the Rangers multiple opportunities to play him, and he’s deserved every single second of ice time he’s played.
This dilemma they’re facing was bound to happen, and unfortunately, it can only end in one way: disappointment.