New York Rangers: Grading the Alexandar Georgiev signing

Alexandar Georgiev #40 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
Alexandar Georgiev #40 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers signed RFA goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, avoiding arbitration with him.

The New York Rangers took care of some business on Thursday, getting RFA goaltender Alexandar Georgiev signed to a two-year deal. Though the team did not release the financial details, CapFriendly is reporting the deal has a $2.425 million average annual value (AAV), or cap hit.

For the 2020-21 season, Alexandar Georgiev will make $2.2 million. He’ll make $2.65 million in 2021-22. After his contract expires, Georgiev will still be a restricted free agent, though he’ll be very close to becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The Rangers were scheduled to go to arbitration with him, but obviously, they won’t be doing that anymore. They still have arbitration dates set with Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux, though.

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Grading The Contract

This is right around what I expected for Georgiev. If you look at the contracts RFA goaltenders around Georgiev’s age and experience sign, they’re rarely for longer than three years and only the best get over $3 million per year.

On paper, his numbers aren’t overwhelming. Georgiev has posted save percentages of .918%, .914%, and .910%, respectively, in his first three season. He’s been above the league average each  year, so if you’re strictly talking about raw save percentage, he’s at worst an above average backup goalie.

However, it’s 2020 and there are better stats for us to use. My personal favorite is GSAx, or goals saved above expected, which is used on Evolving Hockey. You’ve probably heard of goals saved above average (GSAA) and I think it’s a good stat to use. However, I prefer GSAx because GSAA uses the league average save percentage and doesn’t look at the difficulty of the shots goalie face. GSAx does.

Georgiev’s GSAx over the past three seasons is 13.28 during all situations. This ranks 10th among goalies. A healthy portion of this has come while shorthanded. Georgiev has been quite good there, ranking eighth among goalies in GSAx while shorthanded over the past three seasons.

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That said, he’s been above average even at 5v5 and even strength. While I’m a bit skeptical of Georgiev’s ability to remain one of the best goalies in the league at killing penalties, he’s consistently posted above average results at even strength, which is what really matters.

Grade: B