NY Rangers get it right in net with pair of seasoned veterans

NY Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NY Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The NY Rangers have bolstered their goaltending depth considerably after signing two veteran goalies in Louis Domingue and Jaroslav Halak. After trading Alexandar Georgiev to the Colorado Avalanche prior to the start of NHL Free Agency, the Rangers were in the market for a new backup for Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin. Instead, they’ve added two more bodies to the netminder room.

There was little cap room for Blueshirts General Manager Chris Drury to play with, especially after they made an early big slash by signing center Vincent Trocheck to a seven-year, $39,375,000 deal. However, credit where credit is due because the team has been able to bring in two very capable goalies.

Let’s start with Domingue. Ranger fans will be very aware of the veteran after his performance against the Blueshirts in the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After backup goaltender Casey DeSmith went down with an injury in Game One of the First Round, Domingue came in during the first Overtime period and stole the show.

He made 17 saves and led the Penguins to a big win in Game One after three Overtimes, playing in six games in total with a 3-3 record, a 3.65 Goals Against Average and an .898 Save Percentage. It was arguably the finest moment of Domingue’s career, which has taken in a number of stops including Arizona, New Jersey, Vancouver and Calgary.

NY Rangers tick the boxes with pair of NHL-proven veteran goalies

Somewhat of a novelty as a right-catching goaltender, Domingue has signed a two-year, one-way contract with a cap hit of $775,000. With a career .905 Save Percentage and 3.04 GAA, the 30-year-old will have the chance to battle for the backup role throughout Training Camp and the preseason.

His primary competition will be Halak, who also signed a one-year, $1.55 million deal with the Rangers earlier in the day. It is understood that Halak was signed to be the backup to Shesterkin, with Domingue adding a solid insurance policy and some key goaltending depth in the AHL.

A 16-year vet in the National Hockey League, Halak has a 285-180-64 record with a career 2.49 Goals Against Average and a career .916 Save Percentage. A 271st overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, the 37-year-old began his career with the Montreal Canadiens and took in stops with the Blues, Capitals and Islanders before he signed for the Boston Bruins in 2018-19.

It was with the B’s where Halak’s best body of work came as he served as Tuukka Rask’s backup, posting a 49-23-14 record with a .918 Save Percentage and a 2.40 Goals Against Average. More importantly, he’s durable and knows what it takes to help carry the load with a legitimate starter.

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Overall, Halak is a solid pickup and will serve as a pretty good backup for Shesterkin, at a team-friendly pace too. While Domingue will only add to the goalie competition, he’s a solid depth option should anything happen to Shesterkin or Halak throughout the season. The Rangers have meant business on the first day of NHL Free Agency, and they’ve wasted little time in addressing two big needs.