The Case For Jesper Fast To Become The Next Captain Of The Rangers
With the summer coming to a close, hockey is less than one month away. Albeit preseason, it’s hockey nonetheless. The New York Rangers have two RFA’s to sign and probably one more cap move to make before the season. For all intents and purposes, the summer of rebuilding was a success, and the team is about ready to enter a new era.
There’s just one thing missing. The team has gone a year and a half without having a captain. Of course, there are locker room leaders on every team. While the Rangers are a relatively young team, there are veteran leaders on the team (Marc Staal, Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Kreider).
A quick search on the old Twitter will see picks like Kreider or Mika Zibanejad for the vacant captaincy role. However, let’s be honest, the player that deserves to be the next captain is Jesper Fast.
An Alternate Choice
In February 2018, Fast was given the ‘A’ for the first time. Finally getting the recognition he deserved from former coach Alain Vigneault, was a breath of fresh air. To start last season, Coach Quinn named Fast one of the five alternate captains.
With two different coaches and two different styles, both bench bosses found a commonality with the Swedish number 17. While only playing in 66 games this past campaign due to an upper body injury, Fast still notched 20 points. Fast was fifth on the team in blocks and fourth in hits. Some may say Fast is fragile, but an upper-body injury happens when you play with too much heart.
Gift or Curse?
Jesper Fast is my favorite player. Bias aside, the last two team captains have been traded, to the same team. Hopefully, that isn’t a trend going forward. While many will say that Mika is the leader of the team going forward, it may not be the case. Is Mika a massive part of the foundation? Absolutely. Was he the team MVP last season? Yes, he was literally given the award by his teammates. Does he spin fire tracks? Absolutely.
All that said, Fast has won the Players’ Player Award for four straight seasons.
The Players’ Player Award has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1958-59 season and recognizes the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.”https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-announce-2018-19-team-award-winners/c-306490168
The captain of a hockey club doesn’t necessarily have to be the best player. Quite frankly, it can be argued that it typically isn’t. When it comes to who should don the ‘C’ going forward, there is no doubt that the leader of the team is the future first-line winger, Conn Smythe, and Stanley Cup Winner Jesper Fast. Also, get on it Jeff and give him that Colton Sissons extension we all know he’s worth.