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Fast: ‘In the end, it was an easy decision’

New Carolina Hurricanes’ winger Jesper Fast, who signed a three-year deal with the team Saturday, discussed his decision to sign with the Canes, his relationship with Brady Skjei and more Sunday morning.

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes made their first move of 2020-21 free agency Saturday, signing former New York RangersJesper Fast to a three-year, $6 million-dollar deal.

Fast, who has spent all seven years of his NHL career with the Rangers, is staying in the Metropolitan Division with the Canes, where he will be reunited with former teammate Brady Skjei.

Fast, who scored 12 goals and had 29 points in 69 games last season, met with the media via Zoom Sunday morning to discuss his deal with the Canes.

Here is everything Fast had to say:

Jesper Fast

On the decision to sign with the Hurricanes: I know Brady Skjei from playing with the Rangers, so I had a talk with him and he had only good stuff to say. Then, of course talking to [Rod Brind’Amour] and [Don Waddell], they convinced me they wanted me there, so I’m really looking forward to getting there and meeting all of the guys.

On the Brady Skjei hit in the qualifying series: I talked to him after the playoffs. I’ll have a good opportunity to get him back here when I’m practicing with him. No, I’m just kidding. No bad love, I’ve known him for many years and we’re good friends. No harm there.

On if he was concussed on that play: Yes, unfortunately.

On the Canes’ character and Rod Brind’Amour’s reputation: I’ve played them a lot, they play a fast game, they play hard. I really liked how they play and I feel like I fit the system really good. They have character, everyone works hard, so that’s what drove me to Carolina as well. And, of course, I talked to Brady and just heard amazing stuff about Rod. I have not heard a bad word about him. So I’m really looking forward to getting a chance to work with him.

On how much easier going to a new team is when you have someone you know, like Brady Skjei: Of course it’s always nice to have someone to lean on, like you said, I’ve known him before. But I feel like every locker room is the same. You’re one of the guys pretty quick. I’m just trying to be me and be a good friend to everyone, and everything will work out in the end.

On how much the social aspect plays into things, moving from New York to a smaller city: Like you said, I’m from Nӓssjӧ, Sweden, which is kind of a small town. Living in New York for seven years; New York is a great city. I loved my time there. I feel like this will be a good fit. I talked to other people, Brady as well, of course it’s a slower tempo here, but I feel like it will fit me and my family really well. I’m really looking forward to getting there, finding a place to live and having a good time there.

On what the past day and half was like for him: It was pretty stressful. Like was said before, I’ve only played for one organization, so it’s a new situation for me to be in. I was nervous and excited at the same time. You’re waiting and you’re trying to figure out what is the best move for you, but I feel like I’m happy to get the chance to play for the Hurricanes. I’m really looking forward to getting there. I’m glad everything is over, and I can look forward to settling myself in in Carolina.

On if he spoke with the Rangers about re-signing: They were in the picture, but I feel like they didn’t show that they wanted me back as much as Carolina wanted me there. In the end, it was an easy decision.

On if he’s in Sweden right now: Yes, I’m in Sweden.

On when he anticipates heading to Raleigh: We’ll see when the season starts. I need to get there a little bit early to settle in and make sure I’m all set when the season starts. When it is more clear when the season starts, then I will plan my trip over.