New York Rangers Jesper Fast May Need offseason surgery
Getty ImagesDuring exit interviews, New York Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault mentioned: “one player will need surgery.” A source close to the team has confirmed that player is Jesper Fast who will require off-season hip surgery.
After returning from a shoulder separation suffered in March on a hit from Alexander Ovechkin, Fast returned to the lineup and was one of the more effective Rangers players during the postseason registering three goals and three assists along with a +4 in 12 GP, while leading all Rangers forwards in the playoffs in Shorthanded TOI.
The cause of the injury is unknown at this time, as well as the reason for the team not publicly disclosing the injury.
While speculation could lead one to believe it would coincide with the expansion draft, the NHL rules state that “Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive game (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements.” This rule does not apply to this case. However, as many have speculated that the Vegas Golden Knights would select Jesper Fast, an injury of this sort may cause Vegas to reconsider and look deeper at other options the Rangers present.
Keep in mind that Vegas will most likely not be a contender immediately and will look to stockpile young talent not just in the draft, but throughout the season. One way of doing so is by selecting a player with a team-friendly AAV, in a contract year who has the ability to put up numbers and would be a great deadline trade bait. One such player that fits that mold is Michael Grabner.
Stay tuned for more on this as it unfolds, as well as more news on the expansion draft and any ramifications the Fast injury could have.