Okay it wasn’t that great. But, when you look at it from a we-still-need-to-sign-Stepan stance, it was a pretty good deal. According to Steve Zipay from Newsday Sports, Fast signed a two-year contract worth $950,000 per year while Miller agreed to one year at $875,000.
New York Rangers
That adds up to a slim $1.825 million cap hit for two high-potential forwards this year – kind of a steal if you think about it.
In 58 regular season games, Fast recorded six goals and eight assists along with a -1 plus/minus rating. The 23-year-old also picked up three goals and three assists in the Playoffs. It may not seem like much to rave about, but if you watched him play in the top-six alone, he was pretty damn impressive.
Fast is arguably one of the quickest New York Rangers, if not the quickest now that Carl Hagelin is on the Anaheim Ducks. In fact, Fast’s nickname in the locker room is Quickie, so that should say something.
With that kind of speed, Fast belongs in the top-six. He’s proven to be better offensively on the second line as he’s racked up more points there than when he was stuck on the third line. Fast can do his thing and play to his potential there alongside generally better and faster skaters. On the third line, Fast just gets slowed down.
With that said, seeing that the Rangers were able to keep Fast for under $1 million per year is a pleasant surprise.
Mar 22, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) after defeating the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Ducks 7 – 2. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Then there’s J.T. Miller, a player who was rumored to have caught the attention of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the free agent frenzy.
Miller tallied 10 goals and 13 assists in 58 games, ending the season with a +5 plus/minus. Then the 22-year-old bagged one goal and seven assists, averaging a point every other game in the Playoffs. Yeah, you bet that caught the Penguins’ attention.
Again, I kid. If anybody were to take special notice of Miller, it should’ve been the Tampa Bay Lightning. In Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final, Miller dominated on the Rangers’ top line. He put up one goal and three assists to force a Game Seven. So clutch.
And New York has him for at least one more year for under $1 million. Super clutch.
Miller, like Fast, was stuck in the bottom-six for a while, but both should eventually find a home in the top-six sometime in their NHL careers.
Well, so far so good, GM Jeff Gorton. You’re not too bad at this whole general manager thing, but how will you handle signing Derek Stepan? The salary cap situation is getting a little out of hand, but let’s hope you have at least one more trick up your sleeve.
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