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Jesper Fast Might Look Good in an Ottawa Senators Uniform

Jesper Fast seems to think his time playing for the New York Rangers is finished. If that’s so, why don’t the Ottawa Senators take a look?

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When Jesper Fast speaks about his season with the New York Rangers, he puts it this way:

“It did not turn out quite as I had imagined or hoped, neither for myself nor for the team. I was injured in the first game and we lost in three straight. It was a disappointment after all the preparation and all the time put in.”

Related: Senators Among Four Teams Who Could Shake Up NHL Trade Market

Is Fast’s Time with the New York Rangers Over?

Now it seems as if Fast believes not only the team’s season was a disappointment but that his time with the Rangers is over after seven seasons. If he’s right, it will end a surprising run with the team that few would have expected after he was chosen under the radar during the sixth-round (157th overall) during the 2010 NHL Entry Level Draft.

There were rumors that Fast was likely to have been traded just prior to the 2020 trade deadline. Two facts spurred that thinking. First, although he’s relatively young at 28-years-old, he’s on an expiring contract and will likely become a UFA at the end of the season. Second, his contract was exceedingly team-friendly at $1.85 million. Most teams would be able to have fit that salary under their own cap space.

Now, given the impact of COVID-19 on what contracts are seen to be – which, in fact, no one knows, Fast might come a bit more cheaply this offseason. My logic tells me that a number of lower-salaried NHL players who are facing free agency will sign for less money than during normal times.

Might Fast Fit with the Ottawa Senators? If so, His Rangers’ Coach Did an Ad for Him

Specifically, and no one has rumored this at all that I’ve seen but I’m going to take a flyer. However, I believe the Ottawa Senators should see if they could sign the young Swede. He would easily fit into the Senators’ cap space. Fast has always been a decent depth player, and this season he scored about his average with 12 goals and 17 assists in 69 games.

His coach David Quinn lauded him saying, “Shift in and shift out, you’re probably not going to find a more consistent player. He plays hard, and he’s got enough skill to complement people that do have skill. There is such an honesty to his game and it’s certainly infectious throughout our lineup. He’s an important piece of the puzzle here.” (from “Rangers’ Jesper Fast could be intriguing NHL trade deadline commodity, Brett Cyrgalis, New York Post, 24/02/20).

Things Have Changed Between February and Now

However, Quinn did that “ad” in February. As it stands currently, Fast seems to believe his days with the Rangers are over and he expects the team will let him walk into free agency when his contract expires at the end of the season. Perhaps he’s right.

For all intents and purposes, Fast’s season ended when he was injured during the first game of the play-in series with Carolina. That prompted him to release a statement saying,  “Both me and my wife have really appreciated these seven years in New York. I had a good role with the team…It would have been fun if I got the chance to stay. At the same time, a new role would be exciting. I’m open to anything.”

Related: Senators News & Rumors: Borowiecki, Brown, Nilsson & More

Why Should Ottawa Fans Care?

There are at least four reasons Senators fans should care. First, as I noted Fast has always been a good depth player. Season in and season out, he’s been a solid third-liner for the Rangers. Second, he’s likely to score 30-35 points for almost any teams if he plays with if he can skate a full season. And the Senators can always use offense. Third, his contract will be team-friendly, which helps the Senators. Fourth, if he should have a good season, he might be a trade-deadline piece.

As Fast suggested, he’s open to anything. Perhaps Ottawa would be a good match for him.

Next: Every NHL Team’s Most Likely Offseason Trade Piece: [Part 1]

 

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