It looks like the time for Jesper Fast as a member of the New York Rangers is coming to an end. As per a source with knowledge of the situation, the window has passed for the two sides to negotiate.
Jesper Fast heading to free agency
Jesper Fast has been with the Blueshirts for the last seven seasons. The 28 year-old was on pace for a career high 35 points before COVID-19 stopped the NHL cold. He finished with 29 points in 69 contests and was the defensive conscience on a line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome.
According to the source, the Rangers have not had any substantial talks with Jesper Fast this offseason and there will be plenty of teams that would love to have him. One of those teams could be the Nashville Predators for which he was linked to at the NHL trade deadline this past season.
How did we get here?
We learned back in March, via Larry Brooks that the two sides did try and negotiate an extension at the trade deadline. Obviously, they could not reach one and the Blueshirts opted to hold on to Fast who was invaluable to the team getting into the 24 team playoffs.
In May, Jesper Fast told a Swedish news outlet he would love to remain a Ranger but he is well aware of the business end of it all. “At the same time, there is a salary cap that everyone has to work with,” Fast said. “I want a good deal for myself and the Rangers obviously want a deal that is fair to them. I hope we come to an agreement. If not, I will test the market.”
Unfortunately, the NHL had to adopt a flat cap and that may have severely impacted the Rangers options to bring him back. This could be the main reason why no substantial talks have taken place. The source did note that there is a chance for him to remain with the Rangers, but it would take some serious work to make it happen.