Is It Time for the New York Rangers to Trade Henrik Lundqvist?

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

The New York Rangers are in the midst of a rebuild. They suffered another loss on Thursday night at home to the New York Islanders 4-3. The Rangers are now in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division with a 17-19-7 record with 41 points. They are 11 points back of a playoff spot in the east. This team has scored 119 goals and they have given up 149 goals so far this season.

Even though New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will be heading to the All-Star Game this season, is it time for New York to trade him?

Lundqvist will have two years remaining left on his contract after this season. His contract will be a cap hit of $8.5 million. Henrik Lundqvist is 36 years old and he has never won a Stanley Cup in his NHL career.

His record so far this season is 12-12-7 with a .907 save percentage and a 3.08 GAA. Lundqvist doesn't have a very good defense in front of him, but he has shown signs of rust several times this season.

I am not sure what team would take his contract for the next two seasons though, even though some teams might need goaltending help down the stretch. Some teams might be interested in Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

Columbus would be in the playoffs right now if the season ended today and if they could possibly put Bobrovsky, New York then could put up Lundqvist for sale as well.

It is not like the New York Rangers will be in the playoffs anyways this season. Alexander Georgiev is 22 years old and he is currently the backup goalie. His record so far this season is 5-7 with a .897 save percentage and a 3.33 GAA, along with one shutout. If Lundqvist was traded, Georgiev would be the starting goalie for the rest of the season.

The New York Rangers would then call up Dustin Tokarski to be the backup goalie. His record with the Hartford Wild Pack is 9-4-1 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.69 GAA, along with three shutouts. He is 29 years old and Tokarski has played in the NHL before.

Igor Shestyorkin is New York's best goaltending prospect. He is 23 years old and was a fourth-round pick in 2014. Shestyorkin has still not signed an entry-level contract and his KHL contract will end this season.

Igor Shestyorkin's record so far this season is 18-4 with a .947 save percentage and a 1.23 GAA, along with eight shutouts with the St. Petersburg SKA in the KHL in 22 games so far this season.

He could start in the NHL right away with those numbers. Shestyorkin could very well be the starting goaltender for the New York Rangers next season at some point. If they don't trade Henrik Lundqvist now, it could create a problem because I don't think Lundqvist could handle being the backup goalie.