Jesper Fast
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Jesper Fast is heading south. The New York Rangers are losing the forward to the Carolina Hurricanes via free agency.

The New York Rangers are bidding yet another team veteran adieu. Per Pierre LeBrun of TSN, right-winger Jesper Fast has agreed to a three-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes that will carry a $2 million AAV.

The Rangers’ front office had been hinting that Fast wouldn’t be returning to New York next season, but the fact that no substantial moves have been made in free agency made some believe that he would, in fact, be retained.

Many believed Fast wouldn’t return because he was expected to receive more money — around $3 million AAV — elsewhere and the Rangers are stacked with right-wing talent.

With the young Vitali Kravtsov on the way, there wouldn’t really be room for Fast. However, there’s a significant chance Kravtsov won’t be brought back from Russia once the season begins and Fast’s deal with Carolina isn’t as large as anyone expected.

It’s odd that the Rangers believed they couldn’t match it, unless they have a trick or two up their sleeves. After all, they are in need of a second-line center and left-handed defenseman.

Fast is a fan favorite, who will be missed in New York. The 28-year-old Swede was selected by the Rangers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft and made his NHL debut in 2014.

In seven years, Fast has skated in 422 regular-season games with the Rangers, recording 147 points. In 40 playoff games, he recorded 14 points.

With Fast’s departure, Chris Kreider is now the lone remaining member from the 2013-14 Stanley Cup Final squad.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.