Rangers News & Rumors: Shesterkin, Brodzinski, Francis, & More

The New York Rangers went 3-0 last week, and Igor Shesterkin led the way. It was a busy week for the Blueshirts, as they agreed to terms with Jonny Brodzinski. In other news, the Rangers had their three-game winning streak snapped, while former goalie, coach, and general manager Emile Francis unfortunately passed away.

Shesterkin NHL’s Third Star of the Week

Shesterkin had a great week, and propelled the Rangers to three straight wins as well as second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blueshirts are six points behind the Carolina Hurricanes, with both teams playing 56 games. The Pittsburgh Penguins are tied with the Rangers but have played 58 games.

Shesterkin had a 1.67 goals-against average (GAA) and a .955 save percentage (SV%) in the three wins, and prompted the NHL to name him third star of the week. On the season, Shesterkin is currently leading the league in GAA with 1.93 and SV% with .942. The season record for SV% is .944, set by Hall of Famer Jacques Plante during the 1970-71 season.

Related: Rangers Future a Bit Brighter With Shesterkin

Plante is widely considered one of the best goaltenders to play the game. He finished fifth in the Hart Trophy (MVP) race during that season and didn’t even win the Vezina Trophy (best goalie). Rangers’ goalie Eddie Giacomin won the Vezina that season with a 2.16 GAA and .921 SV%.

Brodzinski Earns Extension

Brodzinski signed a two-year contract extension with the Rangers last week. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound center from Ham Lake, MN, has played seven games for the Rangers this season. He doesn’t have any points so far, but he’s plus-2. He spent most of his time with affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack and leads them in goals and points and is second in assists.

Brodzinski has played in 69 NHL games throughout his career and garnered 13 points. However, he’s played in 250 American Hockey League (AHL) games, and registered 194 points while being plus-31. The Rangers are hoping some of his AHL scoring prowess can help out with their bottom six. And his plus/minus speaks for itself with the way he plays a 200-foot game. Plus, it’s tough to put up numbers in the AHL.

Francis Passes Away at 95

Francis was a former goalie, head coach and general manager (GM) for the Rangers. The Hall of Famer played four seasons with the Blueshirts, and became assistant GM in 1962. Before that, he coached the Rangers junior hockey affiliate Guelph Royals. He was promoted to GM in 1964 and took over behind the bench a year after that.

He coached the Rangers for 10 seasons. However, he released Eddie Giacomin in October of 1975. Releasing Giacomin, who was a huge fan favorite, turned Rangers fans against Francis. He was let go two months later. Francis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the “builder” category. He was 95 years old.

Emile Francis

Rangers’ president and GM Chris Drury had this to say when he learned of the news, “The New York Rangers and the entire hockey world are saddened to learn of the passing of Emile Francis.” 

While Glen Sather, Rangers Senior Advisor to the Owner and Alternate Governor, had this to say, “I had the privilege to play for Emile, coach against him, and work in the league as a general manager at the same time as him. I always admired Emile’s passion and dedication, and he was one of the true characters of our game. I’d like to express my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Emile.”

Rangers Win Streak Snapped

The Rangers had their three-game winning streak snapped by the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night as they continued their road trip. The Wild jumped out to an early two-goal lead before the Rangers tied it with goals by Dryden Hunt and Mika Zibanejad. However, they weren’t able to put anything else together and lost 5-2. Alexander Georgiev was in goal.

It was a week of ups and downs for the Rangers, who had an opportunity to seize control of second place in the division, but couldn’t take advantage. The Blueshirts are back in action tonight in St. Louis, with puck drop scheduled for 8:00 pm EST.

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