Zuccarello’s Move To Rangers Cleared; Fast Can Play In NHL?

Metallurg Magnitogorsk announced on their official website that they have signed off on Mats Zuccarello's move to the Rangers for the remainder of the season. At this point, the question becomes when Zuccarello will play. The only hurdle left to climb appears to be the United States government, who have to approve a visa for Zuccarello. Obtaining the visa is not going to be a problem, but it's a process that can take a week or even two to complete. The good news is that Zuccarello is familiar with the organization, the system the team plays, and an number of players on the roster, so it will probably only require a quick briefing with the coaching staff before he's inserted into the lineup.

Meanwhile, we have yet another plot twist in the Jesper Fast situation. Two days ago Anser Khan at mlive claimed Bill Daly told the Red Wings that players coming over from Sweden will only be allowed to play in the AHL. 

Now, ESPN New York's Katie Strang is reporting that this is not the case, quoting… Bill Daly. From the article:

"To forgo his obligation overseas, Fast and or the Swedish National Team has to 'confirm he has no intention of participating,' NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com via email."

Strang then quotes Fast's agent, who implies that this is exactly what Fast will do and that he anticipates the situation will be resolved in "the next day or two."

According to Strang, Fast can play in the NHL. According to a report from Detroit, he can't. It's hard to decipher exactly what is going on here but I'm going to give Strang the benefit of the doubt. She's earned the right to be trusted with information and it's hard to imagine Fast's agent has it wrong as well. Either Bill Daly is confused or MLive writer Ansar Khan has the wrong information and/or took it out of context. Either way, it appears that once Fast withdraws his name from Sweden's World Championship roster he'll be able to remain in North America the rest of the season and can play in the NHL. Big break for the Rangers, who would benefit from adding a fast, talented player eager to make his mark.

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