The deal had been rumored for the better part of two weeks, but the team finally made it official today, announcing they have signed goaltender Igor Shesterkin to a four year deal worth an average of $5.667M per season. With the signing, Shesterkin is projected to remain with the organization through to 29 years of age, at which point he'll be eligible for UFA status, should he choose to go that route.
New York now have 14 players signed for 2022-23 for a commitment of around $52.7M including the remaining buyout dollars for Kevin Shattenkirk ($1.43M), Dan Girardi ($1.11M) and Tony DeAngelo ($883K), which would leave them $28.8M to re-sign Adam Fox, Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravtsov, and either re-sign/replace/let go Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, Alexandar Georgiev, Sammy Blais, Keith Kinkaid, Julien Gauthier, Tim Gettinger, Greg McKegg Anthony Bitetto and Kevin Rooney.
For Shesterkin, it marks a significant raise over his two year Entry Level Contract, in which he earned $925,000. He signed the deal back in the Summer of 2019, and ultimately pushed for a call-up after posting a 17-4-3 record in Hartford with a 1.90 GAA and .935 save percentage. In his twelve game stint before the league suspended operations for COVID, he had recorded ten wins in twelve appearances to go with a .932 save percentage and 2.52 GAA.
Last season he got off to a slow start, but eventually got his game going to finish the year with a 16-14-3 record in 35 games. his GAA rose to 2.62 and his save percentage dropped to .916, but he was clearly the number one netminder.
There are still lingering concerns over his health, after he missed games following a car accident where he and Pavel Buchnevich were involved in a collision with another vehicle, as well as groin problems which kept him out of two of the three play-in games in the 3-0 series loss to Carolina last Summer, as well as a scary looking groin injury in the past season where he had to be helped from the ice. Fortunately he was able to return later in the season and ultimately played well for the most part.
With Shesterkin now signed, Libor Hajek now remains the solitary RFA without a contract.