The New York Rangers have found their backup. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple reports the team has signed veteran Jaroslav Halak to serve as the backup to Igor Shesterkin. According to CapFriendly, the deal is worth $1.55MM, which includes a $1.25MM base, a $250K signing bonus, and $50K in performance bonuses for wins and save-percentage (link). The deal also carries a full no-movement clause.
The team also announced the acquisition of Louis Domingue to be their third-string netminder on a two-year contract. TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports it’s a $775,000 cap hit for Domingue, with him earning $750,000 in 2022-23 and $800,000 in 2023-24.
The two deals reinforce the importance of goaltending depth and its place in this year’s offseason market. Halak would represent one of the league’s best true backup goaltenders and Domingue one of the league’s best third-string goaltenders, which is great for the Rangers, but more interesting considering the starter is current Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin. Despite having one of the best goaltenders in the world, the Rangers have committed $2.32MM to their goaltending today, while fighting the salary cap, and one might still consider these to be under-the-radar compared to other goaltender deals this offseason.
Halak will be returning to New York, where he spent four seasons as a member of the New York Islanders, this time playing for the bitter crosstown rivals. The 37-year-old spent this past season as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, suiting up for 17 games where he posted a .903 save-percentage and 2.94 goals-against average.
Domingue is an interesting addition for the Rangers, the goaltender nearly eliminating the team himself back in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Having played just two regular seasons games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Domingue suited up for six playoffs games following injuries to Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith, winning three of them, with the team ultimately losing in seven games to New York after Jarry returned for game seven. Now, the Rangers will have a chance to experience having Domingue on their side of the ice.