With the rumored friction that now seems to exist between the New York Rangers and forward Kaapo Kakko, there are questions about what happens between the two sides. A pending RFA, that he was scratched during a critical game for the Rangers this postseason might not sit well. But, is it enough to warrant Kakko wanting out? And, is there a clear path to him leaving if he does?
According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, it might be a situation worth keeping an eye on. During a recent article, Brooks made drew an interesting parallent between Kaapo Kakko’s situation in New York and what happened with fellow Finnish forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and the Montreal Canadiens. Kotkaniemi was made a healthy scratch in Games Four and Five of last year’s Stanley Cup Final and that didn’t sit well with him. So much so, that when the Carolina Hurricanes saw an opportunity to swoop in and extend an offer sheet, Kotkaniemi was quick to sign it.
Kaapo Kakko Rangers
Kotkaniemi was also an RFA that season and signed a one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes. It was far more money than he was worth and there was a history between the Hurricanes and Canadiens that explained why Carolina was quick to overpay the player. But, Brooks still wonders if the opportunity is there for another team to take advantage of the Rangers’ situation and some hurt feelings on Kakko’s side?
Brooks adds that Kakko already had leverage in his contract negotiations based on the fact that “the Rangers would be helpless if Kakko receives an offer sheet in the range of $4.2 million to $6.3 million that would bring with it nothing more than the Kotkaniemi compensation of a first- and third-rounder.”
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