GREENBURGH, N.Y. — It was an eventful trade deadline day for the Rangers, but it started with team president John Davidson announcing that goaltender Igor Shesterkin and winger Pavel Buchnevich had been involved in a car accident Sunday night and that Shesterkin will be out of commission for at least two weeks.
“Igor was driving, and apparently a vehicle pulled a U-turn in front of them and there was a collision,’’ Davidson said. “The airbags were deployed immediately, and the seatbelts were being worn by both players, and thankfully for that.’’
The accident was only the first news item of the day for the Rangers, who also announced that they had signed free agent-to-be Chris Kreider to a seven-year contract extension reportedly worth $6.5 million per year.
Then, late in the afternoon, just before the 3 p.m. deadline, they traded defenseman Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes for a first-round pick.
Davidson said Buchnevich was “quite shaken up’’ but had “no significant injuries.’’ He is listed as day-to-day. Shesterkin suffered a fractured rib and will be assessed “in a couple of weeks.’’
“In our business, you’re dealt curveballs all the time,’’ Davidson said. “That’s a tough curveball that we have to deal with.’’
Shesterkin has been brilliant since his Jan. 6 recall from AHL Hartford, going 9-1 with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage and taking over as the No. 1 in the three-goaltender rotation, ahead of Alexandar Georgiev and Henrik Lundqvist.
“Pretty scary news,’’ Georgiev said. “Tough to believe that something like that could happen all of a sudden. Hopefully they get well soon.’’
Georgiev (14-12-1, 2.98 GAA, .912 save percentage) will start in goal Tuesday when the Rangers visit the Islanders at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. He started all three previous games against the Islanders, going 2-1 with a 2.75 GAA and .913 save percentage. He started three straight games when Shesterkin was out of action with an ankle injury suffered in the Feb. 11 win at Winnipeg.
Buchnevich, the right wing on the No. 1 line with Kreider and center Mika Zibanejad, has played in every game this season. He has 14 goals and 23 assists in 61 games.