There will no doubt be a number of changes made to the New York Rangers roster between now and the start of the 2021 - 2022 National Hockey League regular season, and one Rangers' insider suspects that one of those changes could come between the pipes.
Although the Rangers failed to live up to the expectations of ownership this season, something made evident when both team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton were unceremoniously fired prior to the end of the regular season, some might be surprised to hear that a change in net may be in the cards.
The Rangers got solid goaltending out of 25 year old goaltender Igor Shesterkin in just his second NHL season, with Shesterkin recording a 2.62 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Those numbers look even more impressive considering that the Rangers effectively cut ties midseason with one of their regular defensemen in Tony DeAngelo, but the same cannot be said of Alexandar Georgiev who was expected to push Shesterkin for that top spot in the Rangers net. Despite earning a considerable sum as a backup goaltender, Georgiev recorded a 2.71 goals against average and a .905 save percentage for the Rangers and it is this that has led insider Larry Brooks to suggest that the Rangers should target one of the big name free agents expected to hit the market this summer.
Because it is my belief general manager Chris Drury and the Blueshirts should target the impending free agent Rinne to fill the role as backup goaltender to Igor Shesterkin next season if he is on the market. Yes, of course, that would entail dealing Alexandar Georgiev, but that is a move that would serve the best interests of both parties.
Brooks is of course referring to former Vezina trophy winner, and 3 time finalist, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. There is a belief that Rinne, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has played his final game as a Predator and Brooks believes he could fill a void in the Rangers locker room. Brooks points to the loss of leadership caused by the departure of long time Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist, and believes that Rinne could be the ideal candidate to fill that void.
Rinne's numbers, a 2.84 goals against average and .907 save percentage, were closer to that of Georgiev, but no doubt the hope here from Brooks is that the Rangers could unload the backup netminder and get Rinne in his stead at a more affordable number.