Alexandar Georgiev is seeing his Rangers’ tenure come to a close, after 5 rollercoaster seasons on Broadway. Throughout his time in New York, Georgiev experienced high highs and low lows. The last 2 seasons in particular haven’t gone smoothly for the 26-year-old goaltender. Despite this, he finishes his Ranger career with a solid, but not spectacular 58-48-11 record to go along with a .908 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average. With the emergence of Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers’ tight cap situation, the team has grown past the need for the RFA netminder. With that said, where will Georgiev land? Let’s dive into it.
The Sabres had a carousel at the goalie position this past season, with 6 different netminders starting over the course of the 82-game season. Their main guys were veterans Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski, who accounted for 60/82 games for Buffalo. Neither were spectacular to say the least, Tokarski registered a .899 save percentage in 29 contests, while Anderson sported an unimpressive .897 save percentage in his 31 opportunities. There is some optimism in the crease going forward, however, as highly touted prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen showcased some promise in his limited NHL action last season. He posted a .917 save percentage in 9 games.
There were some rumblings last off-season that Buffalo may be interested in Georgiev amidst the Jack Eichel trade rumors. If that interest is still present, it would definitely make sense for Buffalo to take a flyer on the Bulgarian netminder, given their uninspiring results at the position last season.
For years, NHL fans have claimed the goalie position has held back the Oilers’ ultra-talented core, headlined by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The team has recycled veterans past their primes, desperately trying to find a solution between the pipes. 40-year-old Mike Smith had his moments last season, but ultimately folded in Edmonton’s playoff exit vs Colorado, and could ponder retirement this off-season. Such a decision would leave Edmonton yet again with a void in net. Alexandar Georgiev could be their best bang-for-buck option given a tough cap situation. It is worth noting that Edmonton did express interest in trading for the 26-year-old netminder last season.
Despite Georgiev’s career numbers appearing unspectacular, he has faired much better when given consistent opportunities throughout his career. With Mikko Koskinen headed to Switzerland, and Mike Smith possibly headed for the golf course, he could just get that in Edmonton. It’d be hard to find a better situation for Georgiev than playing behind 2 of the league’s best players.
The Blackhawks’ goaltending was absolutely brutal in the 2021-22 season. Accomplished veteran Marc Andre-Fleury struggled early on before being shipped to Minnesota, and it managed to get even worse after his departure. Kevin Lankinen was thrust into the starting role and finished with a dreadful -28.6 goals saved above expected in just 32 games, according to moneypuck.com. That performance was the worst total/60 of any goaltender who tallied more than 25 starts.
Although the current state of the Blackhawks organization might not be the most attractive situation, Georgiev would be hard-pressed to find a team where he’d get more opportunity, seeing as Chicago has nobody to challenge Georgiev for the starting job.
Other Potential Suitors: New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks