Rangers forward Jesper Fast underwent successful left hip surgery and will be out for about five months.
Fast, 25, skated in 68 regular-season games last season, scoring six goals and adding 15 assists. The defensive forward and standout penalty killer had a plus-6 rating. Fast also had three goals and three assists in 12 playoff games. He was selected for the Blueshirts’ Players’ Player Award for the second consecutive season.
Oscar Lindberg had similar surgery early last May but on both hips simultaneously. He returned on Oct. 23 but had a slow start to the season. Fast and Lindberg are both restricted free agents.
Both players seem worth consideration from Vegas in this month’s expansion draft, but it remains to be seen how Fast’s surgery impacts the Golden Knights’ thinking.
Fast has the trust of Alain Vigneault, who often bumps the right wing up in the lineup in late-game situations when the Rangers are protecting a lead.
The news about Fast comes after it was revealed on Saturday that star netminder Henrik Lundqvist is dealing with an MCL sprain. Lundqvist played through the knee injury to lead Sweden to the gold medal in the recent world championships. The Rangers expect he’ll need 4-to-6 weeks to rehab the injury and that he’ll be good to go for the start of the 2017-18 season.
With The Associated Press