The New York Rangers will be without Henrik Lundqvist in net for the first time in years and now have both of his replacements under contract. The team announced they have agreed to terms with Alexandar Georgiev on a new contract, which CapFriendly reports will be a two-year deal that carries an average annual value of $2.425MM.
Georgiev, 24, has more NHL experience than his crease partner Igor Shesterkin, but not much. The undrafted goaltender has appeared in 77 games over the last three seasons, posting mostly excellent results whenever given an opportunity. He has a .913 save percentage and 35-31-7 record, posting four shutouts and even a 55-save performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019.
The young tandem will be incredible to watch develop with a Rangers team that is turning the corner towards contention and both will be protected from the Seattle expansion draft. Shesterkin is not eligible for selection thanks to his limited North American experience, while Georgiev can now be the goaltender the team protects, exposing third-string Keith Kinkaid in the process (a key reason why Kinkaid was given a two-year deal).
Importantly, Georgiev will also not be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this deal. Instead, he will once again be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, a process he elected this offseason as well. Georgiev’s hearing that was originally scheduled for October 31 will no longer be necessary.
Not only will the Rangers have a strong tandem in 2020-21, but they are also only paying a total of $3.35MM for the pair of goaltenders. That will change slightly with Shesterkin’s RFA status next offseason, but given he won’t be eligible for arbitration they should have a window here of very inexpensive, but very productive, goaltending.
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