December 8, 2019; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New York Rangers goalkeeper Alexander Georgiev (40) looks to block a pass from Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stevenson (20) during the third period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Alexander Georgiev has been looking for an opportunity to be a novice for some time. This summer it looks like he’s going to get it one way or another.
On July 13, the 26-year-old netminder became a free agent restricted to salary arbitration rights. He owes a qualifying bid of $2.65 million which isn’t a number the New York Rangers can afford given limited storage space and the need to sign up for several free lead agents.
This leaves GM Chris Drury with two options:
a) Find a business partner in the draft
b) Don’t extend the qualifying bid and let it walk as a UFA
In preparation for this summer, Georgiev has switched clients from the Octagon represented by Robert Hopper and Mike Liott to Jerry Johansson with TSC Hockey mid-season.
The New York Rangers will look into the UFA market for an affordable backup. You can see some options here.
The end of Alexander Georgiev’s career with Rangers
It was rumored that Georgiev was asking for a deal going back to the last season. It must have been difficult for him to see Igor Shesterkin come late during the 2019-20 season and dominate. Especially after supporting Henrik Lundqvist for two previous seasons.
I mean actually, how many teams go from one Hall of Fame goalkeeper to another so quickly?
“There is only one way to be in the rhythm of the game and that is to play,” Georgiev said during this season’s slack. “We did some training with [Benoit Allaire] And hard working in practice. I don’t know what else we can do. This maybe we should think about.”
While Georgiev struggled early on, he finished the match with a solid 15-10-2 record. His GAA did well at 2.92 and had a .898 SV%, with 2 closes. What stands out in his season was from March 15th onwards, he went 8-1-0 with 2.45 GAA and 0.909 SV%.
What is the value of Alexander Georgiev’s trade?
Despite his struggles, Georgiev has reported interest in at least two teams during the season. The Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers wanted to trade in for his services.
It was thought at the time that Edmonton was willing to participate in the third-round pick but Chris Drury didn’t bite. Why not? Some thought Rangers were looking for a higher pick, but replacing a strong backup in the playoff made little sense without a replacement already in place.
So what can Rangers reasonably get for Georgiev now?
One thing is clear, Georgiev plays better when he gets more playing time. Whoever trades him will need to consider giving him a shot as the starting goalkeeper. At worst, split up with another netminder.
The Vegas Golden Knights might not be that team, but the Edmonton Oilers should be. Of course, if they were the only ones interested, the Rangers wouldn’t get much. That’s why Chris Drury invites all potential teams that might be looking for a goalkeeper to create a market.
If he cannot attract at least 3 or 4 interested teams, only 1 or 2 teams may wait for him to reach UFA status. They might even be able to sign him for a little cheaper than his eligible bid of $2.65 million if it was a 3-year deal.
If Drury is able to muster a market for him through the draft, a third-round pick is a good payout. Keep in mind that Rangers are essentially trading their rights and that the acquisition team bears some risks.
Georgiev does not have to sign the qualifying bid and may choose to go to judging for a one-year award. This means that it could become the UFA in the summer of 2023.