New York Rangers extend qualifying offer to Kaapo Kakko, others before 5 p.m. deadline
New York Rangers right winger Kaapo Kakko (24) skates down the ice during the third period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals of NHL Hockey’s Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Friday, June 3, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/John Minchillo
The New York Rangers took the first steps to get restricted free agent Kaapo Kakko under contract on Monday by offering the young forward a qualifying offer.
Kakko played out the final year of his entry-level contract last season and Rangers had until 5 p.m. Monday to make him a qualifying offer. The 21 year old became a big part of New York’s surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season as part of the Kid Line.
He was sidelined for Game 6 by head coach Gerard Gallant leading to speculation over his place with Rangers but is still believed to be seen as an important part of the game. organization in the future.
“I’m going to show that I’m better than that,” Kakko said in his exit interview with the media about the bench. “You should put me in the composition. I am a good player.
Rangers don’t seem to disagree either, as reports suggest the team are working on a new short-term deal for the winger. The bones of a two-year contract with an AAV between $2 and $2.5 million are in place, according to lohud.com.
A new deal could be announced as early as this week or even before free agency opens on Wednesday, according to the report.
Kakko played 157 NHL games during his career with the blue jerseys. He scored seven goals and 11 assists during the regular season before adding two more goals in 19 playoff games.
Libor Hajek, Tim Gettinger and Austin Rueschhoff also received extended qualifying offers on Monday. Jacob Elmer, Justin Richards, Ty Ronning and guard Tyler Wall were not extended offers and are now unrestricted free agents.