A Fast exit from the New York Rangers as four players file for arbitration

Jim Bay
New York Rangers
Dec 23, 2019; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (17) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed free-agent forward Jesper Fast, who spent the past seven seasons with the New York Rangers, to a three-year contract with a $2 million average annual value, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN.

Last year with the Blueshirts, Fast posted 12 goals, 29 points, with a +16 rating in 69 games. His career-best season came in 2017-18, with 13 goals and 33 points in 71 games.  The Rangers drafted him in the sixth round in 2010.

In the “if you cannot beat them join them” category, Fast is being remembered by Hurricane fans playing a role in the Rangers’ dominance against Carolina in recent years, with five goals and 14 points in 24 games, his most against any team.

In another interesting plot twist, Fast will be rejoining a former teammate that leveled quite a hit on him during the most recent playoffs. Early in Game 1, Fast was slammed into the boards by Canes defenseman Brady Skjei, a former Rangers teammate. Fast did not return to the game or the series, It will prove interesting to see what their first conversation might be.

“Jesper is an intelligent, versatile player who will fit the mold of how the Carolina Hurricanes play hockey under Rod Brind’Amour,” Carolina president and general manager Don Waddell said in a statement.

Four rangers file for arbitration

Right around the time the Fast signing was revealed, the NHLPA posted a story that 26 players have filed for salary arbitration, including current Blueshirts Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome, Alexandar Georgiev, and Brendan Lemieux.

The deadline for Club-Elected Salary Arbitration notification is Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. ET. Salary Arbitration hearings will be held from Oct. 20 to Nov. 8.

In the case for Strome, his award would be just for one season since upon completion of the 2020-21 season, he would be an unrestricted free agent. It has been speculated that he could earn around $4.75 million.

Since DeAngelo has four years of experience, the Rangers can decide whether it is a one or two-year award since they didn’t elect for arbitration. If they decided on two years it would take him to the spot that Strome is in currently.

Georgiev has just 77 games of experience to his name, and is coming off an entry-level deal that saw him count $792,500 against the salary cap.

Lemieux has 131 games of experience, and made $925,000 this past season after re-signing with the Rangers. He had been acquired from the Winnipeg Jets.