Genuine concern for the Rangers Kaapo Kakko when play resumes

Kaapo Kakko is a strapping young man. When you look at the 19 year old’s 6’3” and 200 pound frame health concerns are the last thing you think of, even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Kakko is diabetic and has celiac disease to boot. It is very well documented that anyone with a pre-existing comorbidity is at higher risk for death so there has to be genuine concern for Kakko’s safety.

Montreal’s Max Domi

Today, Montreal GM Marc Bergevin was asked about Max Domi who is a diabetic if he will return to play for the Canadiens. “If the doctors decide it is not safe for Max Domi to play, he will not participate in the playoffs,” he made clear.

In the coming days, you can expect the Rangers to answer in a similar way about Kakko. To be fair, the NHL and NHLPA stated that safety for everyone is paramount. Of course, players with risk factors like asthma and diabetes will be the center of attention from reporters covering the respective player’s team.

COVID-19 and Diabetes

According to, “anyone with diabetes is particularly vulnerable to becoming seriously ill with coronavirus because the virus can cause difficulties managing your diabetes, potentially leading to DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).“ Fighting the virus will take a serious toll and make it harder to manage the disease.

For most people, coronavirus is a mild illness, but some people develop a more serious form of the virus and sadly could die. Data from NHS England shows us that the risk of dying is higher for people living with diabetes than those without the condition.

As you know, the coronavirus is dangerous but becomes a critical concern for people like Kaapo Kakko.


Kakko Getting Ready

When it comes Kakko, he is preparing to play. Today, he posted another video practicing with fellow Ranger teammate Alexandar Georgiev. Also on the ice with them are two fellow Finn’s. Is there any reason to be concerned? Not at the moment, especially since this is a small group, but there will be a growing concern as we reach phase 3 in July. No matter what, the Rangers will put his health above playing if the risk is anything short of low.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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