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Unexpected teams emerge to acquire Rangers forward during the offseason


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Joshua Deeds
July 9, 2024  (8:49 PM)
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Kaapo Kakko
Photo credit: The Hockey News

The New York Rangers are looking to reshape their roster, adding a middle-six winger Reilly Smith, for an affordable cap hit of less than $4 Million. GM Chris Drury is in the process of shopping for Jacob Trouba.

Along with Trouba, they're shopping former 1st round pick Kaapo Kakko, who has been struggling in the NHL since his arrival.
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In his homeland, Finland he'd record 22 goals and the NHL transition wouldn't be so easy, as he scored 10 goals in 66 games with the Rangers. The struggle bus would continue, only appearing in 50 NHL games.
He would look to turn a new leaf in 2022-2023, scoring 18 goals a career high, and 40 points in 82 games. He was expected to become the top-six winger he was envisioned to be by the club, but would regress, scoring 13 goals in 61 games, and ghosting the Rangers during the playoffs.
Kakko, obviously at 23 needs a change of scenery from the Rangers and according to Vince Mercogliano of USA Today, the team is working the phones to make it happen.
«I'm pretty sure they're still dangling Kaapo Kakko and will pursue deals to possibly move him this summer,» he said on his podcast New Ice City.«I think they're not thrilled with the offers they've gotten so far, which is why he's still on the roster.»

The team has been shopping him since the NHL Draft apparently, and many teams see him as a redemption project.

Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames are in re-working the roster and could use Kakko in the lineup. He could feel comfortable and less pressured in Calgary and play with veterans who could help mentor him and grow his game. As Nazeem Kadri was their highest scoring last season with 75 points, they would love to find a new offensive weapon in Kakko.

San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks could also use Kakko, and the Sharks who are in the middle of a rebuild, could place Kakko on the same line as Macklin Celebrini. They could also extend him without making a major dent in their cap space.
As the Rangers lose their leverage continually, they could negotiate down and acquire him at more than a fair price.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Rangers could send him in-division to the rebuilding Pittsburgh Penguins, as the team is lacking talent, a potential 20-goal forward would be a huge addition.
The Rangers are unlikely to help their rivals, but perhaps Kyle Dubas could work his magic and trade for Kakko.
Source: SI
Suitors Emerge for Rangers Forward
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Unexpected teams emerge to acquire Rangers forward during the offseason

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