Rangers re-sign RFAs J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast to short-term deals
The New York Rangers took care of two of their three remaining restricted free agents by re-signing J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast to new short-term deals.
The New York Rangers still have one big contract to get done, but handled some other important deals Wednesday by re-signing a pair of promising restricted free agents. Former first-round pick J.T. Miller and forward Jesper Fast were both signed to new contracts by the club.
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Miller accepted his qualifying offer from the club (perhaps to protect his arbitration rights for next season) at a modest $874,000. Fast got a two-year deal worth $1.9 million according to Brooks, good for an annual average of about $950,000. Both of those deals are about as affordable as you could hope for those players at their age.
Miller had 23 points in 58 games last season, taking a big step in his career after excelling at the AHL level over the previous two seasons. Fast, a former sixth-round pick, had 14 points in 58 games during the regular season. Both still have a lot to prove at the NHL level but showed glimpses of their potential last season in particular.
The Rangers, of course, still have a major deal to get done with restricted free agent Derek Stepan. The team’s top center is going to be due a long-term extension and the team is running out of cap space to make it work. According to Brooks, due to a bonus overage, the Rangers have just $6.75 million in cap space left with 21 players signed.
Stepan could command anywhere from $6.5 to more than $7 million on his next deal after taking a short-term bridge deal after his entry-level contract expired. He is slated for a player-elected arbitration hearing on July 27, so the clock is ticking for new Rangers GM Jeff Gorton to make a deal with Stepan work.
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