NEW YORK, NY – Alain Vigneault said simply Jesper Fast is not the type of player a coach has a difficult time managing.
“For a coach, he’s not a hard guy to deal with,” Vigneault said of his utility winger, who following a plethora of injuries has worn an ‘A’ on his jersey the last four games.
While the absences to the likes of alternate captain Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh played a role in the addition on Fast’s sweater, it goes far beyond that. Watch any of Fast’s 1,075 shifts this season and you’ll see a common thread: effort.
“Everything I do I try and lead by example, on the ice and off the ice,” Fast told NYRangers.com on Friday. “Just try and be the best player and best team player I can be.”
“I take pride in the hard work and I try and give every night.”
Since he arrived in New York, Vigneault has stressed the luxury of having players in the lineup who can plug in different roles, and arguably no one has done that more during Vigneault’s tenure on Broadway. The winger has been used as a top-six forward as well as in checking role, and has been one the team’s best penalty killers since he became a regular with the Rangers during the 2014-15 campaign when he appeared in 58 games.