Report: New Shesterkin contract could absolutely destroy the Rangers
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Report: New Shesterkin contract could absolutely destroy the Rangers

The latest from Rangers insider Larry Brooks

Trevor Connors

The New York Rangers' historic season came to an end last week, about a month earlier than the team was hoping for.

After a campaign where the Rangers established themselves as the best team in the NHL's regular season, they showed a lot of heart in the post-season but weren't able to push themselves past the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final. The Rangers bowed out rather quietly in Game 6 against the Panthers, but truthfully they could have been swept if it weren't for the heroics of goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

Shesterkin was the Rangers' best playoff performer and it wasn't even really close.

So... what's next for this team?

Surely Shesterkin is the least of their concerns, right? They've got one of the best goalies in the world in the prime of his career. What's the issue? Well... his contract is up after next season and he's set to absolutely break the bank. His $5.6 million cap hit is likely to double (at least) on his next deal and Rangers insider Larry Brooks predicts that Shesterkin will earn a whopping $12 million annually on a new deal.

Sergei Bobrovsky, the man who bested Shesterkin last series has a whopping $10 million cap hit. Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevsky has a $9.5 million cap hit, while former Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price carried a $10.5 million cap hit. It wouldn't be crazy to see Shesterkin set a new salary benchmark for goaltenders, but it could absolutely cripple the Rangers moving forward.

More from Brooks' latest column for The New York Post:

If Shesterkin comes in at $12 million, that would represent roughly 13 percent of the cap and would diminish each year as it rises. 

Goaltending has been strong enough to give the Rangers a chance in the playoffs year after year.

It’s the rest of the team that needs reinforcements if they hope to clear that conference’s final hump in the near future. 

The question of whether or not the Rangers will be able to do that while giving Shesterkin a contract he’s earned — and deserves — is yet to be seen. 

- Larry Brooks

Is Shesterkin worth nearly 15% of the team's total salary cap?

Source: Larry Brooks