Hurricanes sign Jesper Fast to 3-year deal

The speedy winger will make an average of $2 million annually

Right wing Jesper Fast signed a three-year, $6 million contract with the Hurricanes on Saturday. (Gerry Broome / AP Photo)

Free agency got off to a slow start for the Carolina Hurricanes, but things picked up on Day 2.

Carolina signed Swedish right wing Jesper Fast to a three-year, $6 million contract Saturday, adding another right-handed shooting forward two days after Justin Williams retired after 19 seasons.

The addition of Fast gives Carolina more options in the middle of their lineup. The 28-year-old has spent his entire NHL career with the Rangers, jumping throughout the lineup in both scoring and checking roles. Last season with New York, he had 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points in 69 games.

He lasted just 64 seconds in the Rangers’ play-in series against the Hurricanes, the victim of a thunderous hit from Carolina defenseman Brady Skjei that knocked him out of the series, which the Hurricanes swept in three games. Skjei and Fast were teammates with the Rangers and their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolfpack, since 2014 until Skjei was traded to Carolina at the trade deadline.

Now the two will be reunited in Raleigh, and Fast — the five-time winner of the Players’ Player Award, giving annually to the Rangers player who is deemed by teammates to best exemplify being a team player — would certainly seem to be a fit for the Hurricanes’ culture.

Fast and Carolina GM Don Waddell will be available to the media on Sunday at 10 a.m. to discuss the deal.

In other news, Trevor van Riemsdyk, who played the past three seasons in Carolina, signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Washington Capitals on Saturday.