Did you have too much of Darren Dreger’s Leafs-related thoughts during the entire Mitch Marner contract saga? Well, too bad. Here’s some more for you. Dreger said on Twitter yesterday that Kasperi Kapanen wouldn’t be enough to get the Leafs Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers.
Not even sure Kapanen gets it done.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 17, 2020
The context here is that The Athletic put out a post by James Mirtle saying “To date, the Rangers’ asking price [for Alexandar Georgiev] has been high. They want a quality young player who can play now, not a pick or a prospect, for the young Russian netminder.” Somebody replied to that tweet asking if Jeremy Bracco or Andreas Johnsson was enough to get a deal done, Mirtle said that wouldn’t be enough, and Dreger chimed in saying that Kapanen might also not get it done.
This whole Georgiev is getting a bit out of hand. The Bulgarian became a sensation among Leafs fans when he stopped 55 of 56 shots in a win over the Leafs at Madison Square Garden last February. The hype train in Toronto exploded after he put up a 44-save performance in a Rangers win at Scotiabank Place back in late December. Since then, he’s been deemed The Answer to the Leafs’ shaky goaltending situation.
I mean, to be fair, it makes sense. Georgiev has a cheap cap hit of $792,500, he’s only 23 years old, and he has a solid .914 career save percentage. He could help the team now and into the future. But at what cost? Since when does it take a 20-goal scorer to acquire another team’s backup goalie?
Think back to the last time the Rangers dealt away a guy who was stuck behind Henrik Lundqvist. That was Antti Raanta, but he was moved along with Derek Stepan to Arizona, so we have to go back a little further. It was Cam Talbot.
After posting a .926 save percentage in 36 games in 2014-15 while Lundqvist was injured, it became clear Talbot was good enough to be a starter somewhere. The Rangers obviously weren’t dealing away Lundqvist at that time, so they sent Talbot to the Oilers in exchange for a second- and third-round pick. There’s a bit of a difference here in that Talbot was older and was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent while Georgiev has a few years of team control left, but that return for a goalie with superior numbers is a hell of a lot less than Kasperi Kapanen.
The highest price of acquisition for a backup looking to become a starter would be Freddy Andersen, who the Leafs acquired from the Ducks for a late-first and a second-rounder. Another similar one would be Martin Jones, who San Jose got for Sean Kurlay and a late-first. Again, that’s less than giving up a proven asset in Kapanen.
Almost always, these goalies are moved for prospects and picks. There’s too big of a risk on a goalie with limited NHL action to be trading established players away to acquire them. New York doesn’t need to trade Georgiev, so they can feel free to ask for the moon. But there’s no way Kyle Dubas would be dumb enough to accept those terms.