As we get into the mayhem and chaos that is free agency, some of the biggest deals have been contract renewals. Funny enough, they have been from the lesser team here in the beautiful city of New York. That would be old man Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders. Some of them have been typical Lou signings, such as a 3rd pairing defenseman to a 7-year contract, but there’s one that will impact the Rangers’ future.
That is the 8-year, $66 million deal that Ilya Sorokin signed to be the netminder of the Fishermen which carries an average annual value of $8.25 per year. This is one very expensive man, and as much as I love to mock the Islanders, he’s seemingly worth every penny. His .924 save percentage and 2.34 goals against average saw him voted to the NHL’s second all-star team and come second in Vezina voting to Linus Ullmark.
You cannot help but wonder as Ranger fans what this means for the better Russian-born goalie in New York Igor Shesrerkin. Shesterkin already has a Vezina trophy to his name and was named the goaltender of the NHL’s first All-star team in the year he won the prestigious trophy. Even this year when Igor had some very real struggles, Shesterkin was still 8th in Vezina Trophy voting. He remains among the elite shot-stoppers in this sport.
Shesterkin has 2 years left on his current deal which sees him make $5,666,667 per year. For a man that is likely to rebound to the levels of the elite once again, this could spell some issues for the Rangers moving forward when Igor is going to be due for a major pay raise. It’s two years away from becoming a real problem, but the Blueshirts management core is going to have to start planning for it before it’s too late.