Hurricanes’ Jesper Fast could be out ‘whole playoffs’

GM Don Waddell said Fast will be evaluated in four weeks

Hurricanes forward Jesper Fast will be evaluated in four weeks and not available in Carolina's first round series against the Islanders. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

ELMONT, N.Y. — It looks like last year’s leading playoff goal scorer may not play for the Hurricanes this postseason.

Forward Jesper Fast, who was hurt in the regular season finale in Columbus after crashing into the boards, suffering what GM Don Waddell said was a neck strain, is unlikely to play in the playoffs, according to coach Rod Brind’Amour.

“They won’t be available,” Brind’Amour said when asked by color commentator Tripp Tracy about the availability of Fast and defenseman Brett Pesce during the Bally Sports pregame show. “Quickie, I think, really for the whole playoffs no matter how far we go. So that one’s really tough.”

Waddell said Fast will be evaluated in four weeks.

Fast had six goals and 19 points in 73 games for the Hurricanes this season, but he was Carolina’s top goal scorer in last year’s playoffs. In 15 games, Fast had six goals and nine points, including an overtime game-winning goal in Game 2 against the Islanders in last year’s first round.

He had another game-winner in Game 5 of the second round against New Jersey to send Carolina to the Eastern Conference final, and the tying goal with under four minutes left in the third period of Game 4 against the Panthers, which was spoiled by Matthew Tkachuk’s power play goal with five seconds left that eliminated the Hurricanes.

Fast signed a two-year, $4.8 million contract extension in the offseason.