The New York Rangers announced on Sunday that Jesper Fast would miss two to four weeks. He’s officially been sidelined with an upper-body injury. The team has subsequently recalled Boo Nieves from AHL-affiliate, Hartford Wolf Pack.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 16, 2018
New York Rangers Forward Jesper Fast Injured
The Rangers season of turmoil just grew a little worse. After finally seeing the return of Pavel Buchnevich and Mats Zuccarello from long term injuries, Jesper Fast now takes their spot. The injury came from a hit to the shoulder from Arizona Coyotes‘ Josh Archibald during Friday’s matchup. Fast initially attempted to play through the injury. Eventually he had gone to the locker room for a while before returning later in the third period. Nonetheless, he will be withheld for the next handful of games. New York recalled Boo Nieves from the Hartford Wolf Pack in time for Sunday’s overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Here's the Archibald hit on Fast from Friday pic.twitter.com/tG6KAjLZ4t
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) December 16, 2018
Fast is one of the Rangers best underrated workhorses. His three goals and eight assists in 31 games this season aren’t very glamorous numbers. Though not the most offensively skilled players, he almost always finds himself creating chances for teammates. The Swedish native brings heart and grit game in and game out. Now, the Blueshirts will be without his playmaking abilities until after Christmas and possibly into the beginning of the new year. The timing of this injury could not have been worse.
What This Means For The Future
They dominated November but so far, December has been just the opposite. New York’s sloppy record is 1-2-3 this month with their only win coming from a shootout victory over the Florida Panthers. It’s another tailspin season and seems to be getting worse. The team currently sits in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. The right winger’s absence will likely only further entrench the team’s losing pattern.
With the Trade Deadline looming ahead in a couple months, one can expect the franchise to be a big seller again. The Rangers’ sixth round pick of 2010 has not been mentioned in many trade rumors. He could still be a worthy asset to add value in a separate deal. He’s a locker room presence any general manager would want as well as carrying a very malleable contract. Fast’s $1.85 million deal is good through 2019-20 before becoming an unrestricted free agent. This should be enticing for a cap strapped team looking for depth on the wing before making a playoff run. If he is lumped into a package deal with teammates Kevin Hayes, Kevin Shattenkirk, or the aforementioned Zuccarello it should not come as a shock. Expect teams such as the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Boston Bruins to be in the conversation should Fast be shopped around.
For the time being, however, he will do his best to rehabilitate and get back on the ice as soon as possible. Without looking too far ahead, Fast will spend the next two months helping the Rangers try to win each night. The Blueshirts next matchup comes Tuesday, December 18th against the Anaheim Ducks.
NEWARK, NJ – MARCH 21: New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) skates during the first period of the National Hockey League game between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers on March 21, 2017, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)