Rangers were stuck in an impossible Henrik Lundqvist situation


Regarding the Rangers, whose deadline fate is determined solely by cap considerations and the value of trade proposals, but in no way by the results of the three games in Chicago, Carolina and the Garden against the Sharks by February 24 deadline.

The Rangers have certainly not asked Henrik Lundqvist for permission to essentially get him out of the 2019-20 team picture. So why should senior management need the king's approval in June to buy up the last year of his contract?

Lundqvist could see this coming, I could see it coming, almost everyone could see it coming, but no one, but no one could see it coming exactly, with the hierarchy of the future Hall of Famer essentially saying that he is no longer good enough to play for the team.

Yes, while this dramatic mid-season switch to a partnership between Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev is about to happen next year and immediately after, it has become about this year. The Rangers believe that these two goalkeepers give the team the best chance of winning on a given night. It is difficult to argue with this proposal since Shesterkin and Georgiev put together a combined 10-4 mark with a save pct of 0.930. and 2.34 GAA since debut on January 7th.

If you're up against Georgiev in Minnesota on Thursday and Columbus on Friday when Shesterkin had an ankle injury, you should say so much, even if I have no idea which coach David Quinn, goalkeeper coach Benoit Allaire, general manager Jeff Gorton and team president John Davidson continues to tell Lundqvist.

Henrik Lundqvist Rangers
Henrik LundqvistPaul J. Bereswill

It doesn't matter what they say when, to borrow a line from Anthony Burgess & # 39; "A Clockwork Orange", actions speak louder than. Management obviously does not believe that a future Shesterkin-Lundqvist tandem is optimal, otherwise they would have tried. They would prepare for next year and make Georgiev the highest bidder. The hierarchy didn't do that. Instead, it made Lundqvist the third option in a two-goalie rotation.

Somehow, I don't see that a June buyout would create a clean break between the franchise and the goalkeeper and would allow Lundqvist to set his own course to be more disrespectful, and I by no means claim that this is the organisation's intention is. Management tries to respect the feelings of the Swede, but after all the flowery words, respect is measured by the ice age.

The way from here to the next season seems easy compared to the way from here to the end of this season. I mentioned this two weeks ago, but will Lundqvist actually practice every day while backing up every game? Will he be the # 3 goalkeeper in the next five weeks with the idea that he will start the last games in the garden as a farewell party? Would he be good with it?

Would that mean respect or disrespect?

It is unimaginable that a cup winner is now asking about Lundqvist, who has started two games since January 11 and whose confidence must be at a lifelong low. Of course it is. It must be unbearable for him. Trading doesn't seem likely. A cup winner who hires him as number 1 next year also doesn't seem likely.

Could the dynamic change if a team is ready to swap a safe top six or top end first round player in exchange for Georgiev? Maybe, but probably not. The Rangers will have their goalkeeper tandem for the next year, if not the next two or three. Lundqvist is not part of it.

A buyout from Lundqvist would save $ 3 million below the ceiling, but you have to imagine that $ 2 million would go to Georgiev, who is a pending restricted arbitration free agent. In this scenario, the Rangers would receive $ 8.45 million for goalkeepers (Lundqvist $ 5.5 million; Georgiev $ 2 million; Shesterkin $ 925,000). This would save $ 975,000 compared to a $ 8.5 million Lundqvist partnership with Shesterkin. A buyout would also add $ 1.5 million in dead space in 2021-22.

Unless they're blown away, the Rangers shouldn't be in a hurry to act on Tony DeAngelo on time. More teams will be interested in the upcoming restricted free agent defender in June than next week.

And yes, we're talking about a tiny sample size, and yes, Adam Fox made Mika Zibanejad this hellish 60-foot backhand saucer to trigger the sequence in which Chris Kreider scored the late winning goal in Columbus, but the power game was sure to be a lot in Fox's last two games have been less dynamic than injured DeAngelo.

When Kreider is traded, concerns about the ceiling fade, if not when DeAngelo signs a new deal this summer.