The San Jose Sharks are in desperate need of a long-term solution at the goalie position and New York Rangers netminder Alexandar Georgiev could be the answer.
The San Jose Sharks have been searching for a solution at goalie for years now. Martin Jones‘ career has tanked the last two years and the 30-year-old has followed up a career-low season with an even worse performance this year.
Jones has been all but replaced in goal by veteran backup Aaron Dell and while the latter has performed quite well as of late, it’s pretty apparent that he isn’t the long-term solution at the position.
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In a disappointing year in which a playoff appearance looks increasingly unlikely, the Sharks would be wise to try and fix the issue ahead of next season. Unfortunately, with very little cap flexibility, the team isn’t going to be able to find a short-term fix.
They need a long-term answer. And it doesn’t look like that answer is going to come from their NHL roster or their farm system.
With that in mind, the trade market might just be their best approach. And New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev could be the right player to target.
Georgiev has served as the Rangers’ backup to Henrik Lundqvist for the past two seasons and he’s fared pretty well over that time. The 23-year-old has a .913 save percentage with a goals-against-average just north of three (3.02) in 66 career games.
That’s pretty impressive for a young goaltender, the only problem is that the Rangers don’t seem likely to move on from Lundqvist anytime soon. On top of that, New York has young prospect Igor Shesterkin who is quickly rising through their system.
Georgiev might soon be squeezed out. As a result, the Sharks could look to capitalize.
The Rangers are focusing on acquiring young forward talent that could immediately step in to their lineup and play. And while the Sharks don’t have a ton of that they could offer, one name immediately springs to mind.
Kevin Labanc is in the midst of a down year after breaking out last season, but he could be a player the Rangers would have some interest in. The 23-year-old is young, cheap, and controllable and he fits the mold of a player they’re looking for.
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Perhaps a straight-up, one-for-one deal could work. Perhaps the Rangers would want a little more. Either way, it would be a good starting point and it has the potential to help both teams.
The San Jose Sharks need goalie help in both the short-term and the long-term. And with limited options available, Georgiev gives the Sharks their best blend between high-upside and affordable.
The only problem is, the Sharks could ill-afford to be giving away any more of their draft picks. And with the Rangers not looking to contend at the moment, it wouldn’t make sense for them to trade for any of the Sharks players expected to be on the market.
There are options the team could explore to fix their goalie problem, but trading for Georgiev remains perhaps the most appealing of those options.