World news – The clock is ticking for Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin to prove he’s the obvious heir


So Carter Hart, the goalkeeper the Flyers have been waiting for since Ron Hextall – no, do the Pelle Lindbergh; Uh, no, make Bernie Parent – who started at home against the Rangers on Thursday – in 53rd place and last among the 53 NHL goalkeepers who played at least 600 minutes.

That is, that the development is not always linear and that it can be a little difficult to project teenagers as immediate franchise goalkeepers that cannot be missed. But at least the Flyers and Hart have some time on their side, as the Netminder is only 22 years old and is in the last year of his entry-level contract. He’s five years away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Meanwhile, the blueshirts have their own questions about Igor Shesterkin, which have been touted for as long as Henrik Lundqvist’s legacy has been evident in the rise of the Russian to the throne Seemed predetermined.

Shesterkin’s performance during his second run (even if he is officially considered a rookie by the NHL definition) has been pretty good for the most part, although it has not yet peaked consistently on his 2019-20 debut after his mid-season promotion from the AHL.

The netminder’s totals put him in the top third of most league statistical categories, although his preseason follies had an undue impact on his being among goalkeepers, who have done so, only occupied 20th place in the five-on-five savings and 23rd place in the GAA played at least 600 minutes of full hockey Strength. This is a little worrying.

However, the biggest problem with Shesterkin is its durability or lack of it. 37 goalkeepers have played more minutes than the Russian, whose start in that game against the Flyers marked his first appearance since a groin injury three weeks before the third-half day in New Jersey on March 4th.

Shesterkin missed 10 games on this track. Obviously nobody blames the goalkeeper for his injury, but the fact is that this was the third time in Shesterkin’s very short career that he was out with a lower body injury. The Netminder has never started more than three games in a row in the NHL and never played more than 39 games in one season in a professional career that started with four seasons in the KHL.

Here’s the thing about the dynamic between the Blueshirts and Shesterkin, which is different from the one between the Flyers and Hart, except for the fact that the New York goalkeeper doesn’t share his last name with both the franchise’s Hall of Fame announcer and the gorgeous Anthem singer, like Philly it does with Gene and Lauren:

And that means the Rangers don’t have much time with Shesterkin, who turned 25 on the last day of 2020 and is in the last year of his entry-level contract, but also only two years removed from unrestricted free action.

This means the option of a one or two year bridge contract from the entry level to give the organization time to measure Shesterkin’s truer worth , is not a great alternative here. The Rangers certainly won’t want to take the goalkeeper to the open market. So a long-term deal is likely coming up this summer. But at what price? Two years away from the free agency, Shesterkin has leverage that he’ll likely leverage. History and common sense tell us that is what we have to expect.

The threat to stay in Russia was enough to receive the maximum entry bonus package in the fourth round, the 118th overall win of the 2014 draft. This is virtually unknown to players selected later than the start of the first round.

If the Blueshirts want to run for fourth place in the Bruins for last place in the divisional playoffs, they need Shesterkin at the top of his game and with the same charisma he had when he joined the squad last season. That is imperative.

And while the Rangers will not jeopardize Shesterkins’ physical wellbeing by piling games on him after this recovery, it is also imperative for the goalkeeper to stay healthy and provide evidence that he is indeed a team can carry. As recently as last year, Alex Georgiev had 13 starts on Shesterkins 12 after his recall.

The Rangers need Shesterkin to be the heir that is visible as planned. The clock is already ticking.

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