Igor Shesterkin
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Igor Shesterkin has appeared in five games for the New York Rangers, validating his importance, and he should be named the starter. 

Frank Curto

The three-goalie rotation needs to stop immediately.

New York Rangers rookie prospect Igor Shesterkin has shown the skill and confidence between the pipes to take over for Henrik Lundqvist as the starting goaltender.

An announcement now might give the team a needed boost for a chance to grab that elusive final wild card spot.

The Rangers have been using a three goalie since Shesterkin was called up from the AHL in late December. This has proven to be an unavoidable disaster, derailing the game of both Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev.

Jeff Gorton needed to make the call up for a few reasons.

  • The team wanted to see how Shesterkin would play in the NHL.
  • The team wanted to keep Shesterkin happy and take away the thought of opting out of his contract with his “European Clause.”
  • To begin the process of easing Lundqvist into a backup/mentor role.

What Gorton wound up doing is causing one of the worst goalie controversies to be seen in Rangerstown history.

Winning Is More Urgent Than Loyalty

Shesterkin is the real deal. The organization has to do the right thing by its fans which would mean knocking the King of his throne. This was inevitably going to happen, this season or next, as the heir apparent would take over for Henrik.

On most hockey teams, where the top goalie is not defined (or no longer defined), the head coach plays the hot goalie.

It never matters who is on the bench serving as a backup or who is sitting in the press box. This needs to be the way David Quinn approaches every game.

With the announcement that the Toronto Maple Leafs made a deal with the Los Angeles Kings to acquire goaltender Jack Campbell, following their game Wednesday night, the three-goalie monster loomed larger.

Trading Georgiev earlier than later is no longer a possibility. Gorton will have to start the process over unless Georgiev is not really on the trade market.

Yet the organization can resolve peace to Rangerstown and change the topic of the day with a snap of their virtual fingers.

A simple statement that would let the NHL world and the organization recognize who the new face of the franchise is would go a long way.

Igor Shesterkin will be our starting goalie for the rest of this season and foreseeable future.

With 16 words, the monster will cease to exist.

Pressure

The pressure Igor Shesterkin would take on would be tremendous. He has and can handle it. This is the best opportunity to give him games in which the outcomes won’t effectively hurt the team.

There are three teams the Rangers need to leapfrog in order to make the playoffs as of Thursday. The team has been unable to put together a winning streak longer than three games all year.

Playing Shesterkin more frequently without having the question of who will get the start in the next contest would do wonders for Igor and the club as a whole.

A 4-1 start to his career is a very small sample size, but He has been a proven winner at every level he has played in.

Kaapo Kakko, RoboKaapo T-Shirt

His numbers in the NHL say a lot with .927 save percentage and 2.51 goals-against average. These numbers are bound to improve with the increase of ice time he deserves.

Regardless of trades, loyalty or the fans, the Rangers need to take charge of their own destiny and put Shesterkin on top of the Ranger mountain.

Lundqvist and Georgiev have really been in the hardest potential position. The young Russian backup goalie is looking for more ice time to show other teams that he is a viable No. 1 goalie.

The King is looking at himself through Shesterkins eyes. It feels like he just took top billing from Mike Richter yesterday. Now, Hank sees his time as the No. 1 has truly ended.

Shesterkin will lead this club back to the playoffs, whether it’s this season or next.

Quinn Needs to do what he was hired to do. He will be the coach that essentially ended the career of one of the most beloved players in franchise history.

In the same breath, he will be putting the next face of the franchise in the ice where he belongs, standing tall and continuing the traditions of the New York Rangers hockey club.

Fans should be hearing his name before every start of a hockey game. The inevitable has now become a reality.

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