Only four players are left from the New York Rangers team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014. Now they have a new task, to lead a new generation of Blueshirts.
It’s hard to believe that it was just five years ago that Dominic Moore scored the only goal in a Game Six win that sent the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals. In a span of five years, the New York Rangers have gone through a transformation for the ages. From being a top contender to then down in the dumps, a full rebuild has put New York in a prime position to climb back to the top.
In order to make Jeff Gorton’s master plan of revamping this squad completely a reality, the veterans whom have been through it all must take charge in the next couple of years. . Here’s a look at those four veterans.
Jesper Fast was rookie when he played three games during the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup as the replacement for an injured Chris Kreider. The right-handed forward logged an assist while playing with Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards.
If there is one word to characterize Fast, it would be perseverance. He showed up to the following year’s training camp with an extra 20 pounds of muscle and netted three preseason goals, earning a spot on the big league roster. Even though he showed early promise, his lack of ability to play at an NHL level sent him back down to Hartford. Fast was so dominant in the AHL, he was called up yet again and finally secured his spot.
As a fourth liner, he instilled respect for determined play and made his presence felt in the locker room. He may have only been a rookie, but alongside Tanner Glass and Carl Hagelin, he was a key figure for the President Trophy winning 2014-15 Blueshirts.
Throughout the past four years, “Quicky”, as he known by his teammates, has been one of the core leaders of the team. In spite of battling through numerous injuries, he has been able to record 20 points in all of his years as a full time skater.
This determination did not go unnoticed as Fast has won the Players’ Player Award every season since 2015-16 on and last year served on the rotation of five team alternate captains.
In regards to his role this season and beyond, Jesper Fast will have the chance to help the numerous rookies have a smooth transition to the NHL as he had such a difficult one. As well, a full captaincy is a legitimate possibility but his status as an unrestricted free agent next year can affect that.
If the Rangers hope to have the many young guns live up to their ceiling, Fast will need to be one of the biggest leaders on and off the ice.