For the first time in a long time, the New York Rangers find themselves in a very unique situation. For the past week the Rangers have been rotating three goalies. Henrik Lundqvist, Alex Georgiev, and Igor Shestyorkin. All three goalies have been very good for the Rangers. Despite Rangers twitter bashing Hank for his play, it isn’t very difficult to see that the Rangers are at the bottom of the league in limiting Grade A scoring chances. The performance of our goaltending has made us relevant this season. But something needs to give and I think it is pretty clear which goalie needs to be shipped off.
Georgie is the guy unfortunately. I say that because Hank has already made it clear that he wants to remain a New York Ranger and totally fuck with this rebuild. Instead of being a normal hockey player and go chasing cups, he cares more about being in NY and living the lavish life that New York City brings. He never cared about a cup. It was just icing on the cake on top of his modeling and music career. (I’m half kidding).
In a league where a goaltending tandem seems to be the way to go during the regular season, we will go with Hank and Igor. It’s a fine tandem for now, until Igor takes the starter role when Hanks contract terminates after next season. Then Rangers will need to find a new back up. But given the Rangers magic with goalies, I’m sure we will find a solid goalie to take on that role.
But where does Georgie go? The goalie market is never as hot as you think it is. In a league where rookie goalies come up and make Stanley Cup runs (Binnington, Murray) it is tough to get a lot back for a goalie. The Rangers will most like package George with another player. Here is what I would try to do if I was Mr. Gorton.
George and Skjei to Toronto. I won’t get into what the Rags will get back because I am not totally knowledgable of their farm system. Skjei has been a shell of himself from when he got called up. I personally think he is product of the system if front of him, because our entire team struggles in our zone. But I pick Skjei because his $5.25 hit until 23-24. Next year we take a massive hit from Shatt Deuces buyout ($6 mill) and we also need to sign Tony D. My guess with Tony is that he going to want something similar to Shatt Deuces old contract. I hope he chooses length over money. Again, I think getting him signed is very important. Our defense drives our offense and he is a huge part of that.
Another player that needs to go is Chris Kreider. Anyone who thinks you build a team around Kreids can’t be more wrong about anything. You see Panarin? That’s a guy you build around. Kreids is too inconsistent and disappears way too often for my liking. It’s a shame because his size and speed can make him so effective. I just don’t see that Chris very much, so he must go.
What’s his value? He is playing like it’s a contract year and that’s great. I can see the Rangers getting a first round pick and a possible prospect. I think Kreider is overrated, but a lot of people out there love what he brings to a line up. Where will he go? The rumblings say Colorado or Boston. It makes sense for both teams. Boston is in desperate need of depth. I also think a player like Brendan Smith could make sense for Boston also. He’s a swing player or 4th liner that can kill penalties. He isn’t very effective in the regular season, but with a team with injuries on D and needs more depth, I think it could make sense. Package those two for a first and fourth round pick.
The last player there is a lot of noise around is Ryan Strome. Strome needs to be signed in my opinion. His chemistry and hockey mind is a perfect fit with Panarin and the Rangers. Here is why he will be an easy signing. For once he found consistency and success in his career. He has a role. He knows that New York is the best bet for his own personal success. We have Panarin locked up forever so why not sign 26 year old center for 5 years, $4 million? That’s being generous. The Rangers can’t have enough depth at center and he certainly puts the Rags in the great position taking on a number 1 center role while Mika plays on the second line. Chytil in the third spot and you have a very solid center core for not too much money.
This is my opinion of what the Rangers will do. Now that I publicly said it, none of it will happen. But moves will be made because they Rangers are in cap hell next year and need to shed some contracts and bring up the kids.
PS: I have no idea what the Rangers will do with Lias Andersson. I will say this. I am team Lias and I would be pissed to. Taking blame on my play while others with the same stat line get praised and promoted would drive me insane also. This is his profession and I will never tell a professional in any field to “just deal with it.” Also, go check out his draft class on hockeydb. Sort by stats. Lias is still a top 20 player in the draft….whatever.