In net: Rangers ink Shesterkin; Flyers, Caps re-sign goalies
The New York Rangers locked up their goaltender of the future Monday by agreeing to re-sign Igor Shesterkin to a four-year $22.6 million contract.
The 25-year-old Shesterkin was a restricted free agent who went 16-14-3 last season in taking over the starting duties following Henrik Lundqvist’s departure.
The Rangers announced the signing while a person with direct knowledge of the contract revealed its value to The Associated Press. Shesterkin will make $3 million this season, followed by $6 million the following year, $7 million in 2023-24 and $6.6 million in the final season of the deal. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team did not release those numbers.
The amount makes Shesterkin’s annual average salary of $5.65 million the highest awarded to an NHL goalie in his second contract, and ahead of Sergei Bobrovsky, who made $5.625 million per year over a two-year deal he signed with Columbus in 2013.
From Moscow, Shesterkin was selected by New York in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. He has an overall record of 26-16-3 over two seasons with the Rangers.
Shesterkin wasn’t the only restricted free agent goalie to sign on Monday: The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed Carter Hart to a three-year, $11.9 million deal, and the Washington Capitals re-signed Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $2 million contract.
The 22-year-old Hart is coming off a season in which he struggled maintaining the starter’s job in his third season with the team.
Hart’s numbers plummeted in finishing with a 9-11-5 record and a 3.67 goals-against average in 27 appearances, including 25 starts. He allowed four or more goals 13 times, and missed the final 12 games with a sprained left knee. That was a significant drop-off from his previous season in which Hart went 24-13-3 to help the Flyers finish fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
His struggles last season were part of a second-half collapse in which the Flyers won 13 of their final 36 games and missed the playoffs by finishing sixth in the East Division standings.
Hart will have competition for the starting job this season after the Flyers signed former San Jose Sharks starter Martin Jones in free agency last month.
The 24-year-old Samsanov went 13-4-1 with two shutouts, and lost all three playoff starts in playing behind starter Vitek Vanecek last season. Samsanov was pegged to take over the starting duties this year before the Capitals re-acquired Vanecek in a trade with the expansion Seattle Kraken last month.
In Anaheim, the Ducks re-signed restricted free agent forwards Max Comtois and Max Jones.
Comtois signed a two-year contract after leading the Ducks with 16 goals and 33 points in 55 games. At 22, Comtois was the second-youngest NHL player to lead his team in points last season, behind Ottawa’s 21-year-old forward Brady Tkachuk.
Jones, who signed a three-year contract, has 17 goals and 11 assists for 28 points in 135 career games with Anaheim.
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