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Golden Knights Trade Talk

Golden Knights Trade Talk: No Fleury, but Georgiev Could Be an Option

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Alexander Georgiev New York Rangers (Photo- New York Rangers via Twitter)

On Tuesday The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported that with the current injury to Robin Leher, the Vegas Golden Knights were interested in bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury. The NHL trade rumors were immediately shut down by general manager Kelly McCrimmon as colleague David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal got the scoop directly from McCrimmon.

“There is absolutely no credence to that rumor at all. I wouldn’t normally speak on such things, but there will be so much racket about this, it’s important to let people know that’s not going to happen,” said McCrimmon.

McCrimmon shut down this rumor harder than teams have been shutting down the Golden Knight’s offense.

But in Seravalli’s article, he didn’t just mention Fleury as an option for the Golden Knights in goal. He also threw Alexander Georgiev’s name into the mix. Could the Golden Knights be interested in Georgiev?

Alexander Georgiev to the Golden Knights?

Despite the success of the New York Rangers this season, Georgiev feels like he is ready for a bigger opportunity. He likely won’t be getting it in New York with Igor Shesterkin taking the reigns as the top goaltender.

Classic backup goaltender stuff.

This season the Bulgarian-born NHLer has played in 20 games is 7-7-2 and has a 2.99 goals-against-average and .898% save percentage. He has five years of NHL experience, having made his debut in the 2017-18 season just like the Golden Knights. He is 50-46-11 in 116 games played.

With Lehner out with an upper-body injury, it could result in shoulder surgery. The Golden Knights would then have Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson in goal and it may not be enough for a Stanley-Cup contending team in the stretch run.

What Could a Potential Deal Look Like?

As a pending restricted free agent, Georgiev would likely be a pure rental for the Golden Knights, or any team. Both Lehner and Brossoit have term with Lehner signed until 2025-26 and Brossoit to 2023-24. Logan Thompson recently signed an extension through the 2025-26 season.

Georgiev’s $2.425 cap hit is manageable, but still a problem for the Golden Knights. There is the obvious option of putting Lehner on LTIR which would free up $5 million. But sooner rather than later the Golden Knights will need their LTIR players to come back in the regular season.

Could Reilly Smith Be Involved?

Here’s where it gets interesting. The New York Rangers have reportedly been interested in acquiring Reilly Smith if he were to become available on the NHL trade market. Smith has 32 points in 47 games for the Golden Knights and has only missed one game this season.

As a pending free agent, the deal from the cap perspective makes sense with two pending free agents being swapped. But the Golden Knights would likely want a little more for Smith in return. Perhaps the other name in New York that has requested a trade in prospect Vitali Kravtsov?

This deal would free up a tad bit of cap space for Mark Stone, Robin Lehner, Jack Eichel, and the Golden Knights. As an original Misfit, there is always the option of Smith re-signing with the Golden Knights in the offseason as well.

Other Goaltending Options

Seravalli mentioned Fleury and Georgiev by name but they are not the only two goaltenders on the NHL trade block. Joonas Korpisalo in Columbus is an interesting case. As another overshadowed goaltender, this time to Elvis Mezlikings, Korpisalo is in the final year of his $2.8 million deal.

There is also Brayden Holtby in Dallas who many Golden Knights fans would feel awkward about considering the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. I’m spitballing here but Jaroslav Halak in Vancouver as a veteran at $1.5 million is another option.

Are LB and LT The Best Options?

Perhaps Lehner’s timetable will be shorter than expected and the Golden Knights will opt to not touch anything when it comes to goaltending. Brossoit had a solid game Wednesday night against the Avalanche stopping 23 of 25 shots. It’s not his fault the Golden Knights have not scored a goal in over a week. We have not gotten much of a look at what Logan Thompson can do in the NHL, either.

What this will all come down to is the status of Robin Lehner. If the Golden Knights and Lehner decide that surgery is necessary it could keep him out potentially until the start of the playoffs. The Golden Knights, who are knocking on the door for a Stanley Cup would likely need goaltending assistance then, or maybe even just now.

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Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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