NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Rangers currently have three goalies on their roster, which has started the rumor mill swirling.
Igor Shesterkin, who has long been touted as the team’s future in goal, was recalled from AHL Hartford on Monday and practiced. According to head coach David Quinn, the 24-year-old Russian will make his NHL debut on Tuesday night with a start against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden.
Quinn said on Saturday that veteran Henrik Lundqvist has been ill, which would explain Shesterkin’s arrival, at least as a temporary solution. But the New York Post’s Larry Brooks tweeted on Monday the move has nothing to do with the team’s health.
Shesterkin recall is not related to goaltending health issues. No word at this point, team practices at 11, but expect Shesterkin to get the assignment tomorrow at MSG v Colorado. They didn't bring him here to dance.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) January 6, 2020
So that begs the question: will the Rangers be looking to move a goaltender? The NHL trade deadline is on Feb. 24.
Prior to his recall, Shesterkin was having a phenomenal season at Hartford, posting a 15-4-3 record with a 1.93 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and three shutouts in 23 appearances, earning him a spot in the AHL All-Star Game. The 24-year-old native of Moscow was the Rangers’ fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and had spent parts of the previous six seasons in the KHL.
He posted a 79-9-4 record, along with a 1.49 GAA, .940 save percentage and 25 shutouts In 95 regular season appearances for the KHL’s St. Petersburg SKA from 2016-2019.
When Igor Shesterkin makes his NHL/Rangers debut tomorrow, he will become the first goaltender who was born in Russia to play in a game for the Rangers in franchise history. #NYR
— NYR Stats & Info (@NYRStatsInfo) January 6, 2020
Defense and goaltending have not been strengths this season for the Rangers (19-18-4), who currently sit in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of the second wild card. Lundqvist, who is in his 15th NHL season, all with New York, is 9-9-3 with a 3.10 GAA and .910 save percentage.
Lundqvist has one year remaining on the seven-year, $59 million contract he signed prior to the 2014-15 season.
Meanwhile, promising Alexandar Georgiev is 10-9-1 with a 3.17 GAA and .909 save percentage. The 23-year-old had allowed 16 goals in his previous three appearances before stopping 25 of 27 shots in the Rangers’ 2-1 loss in Vancouver on Saturday.
Georgiev will be a restricted free agent after this season.
New York has lost three straight, overall, but plays 10 of its next 13 at home.