September 3, 2020

Rangers Roundup: Kakko a star, Strome update, and more news

Kaapo Kakko #2 pick overall 2019 (Bruce Bennet/Getty Images)

Good morning Rangers faithful. Thank you again for supporting Forever Blueshirts. Today, we want to remember in all the Alexis Lafreniere hype and jubilee, that there is another kid ready to take the Rangers to new heights.

Kaapo Kakko will be a star for the Rangers

Kaapo Kakko is just 19 years-old. I think sometimes we see this man-child hit the ice and expect him to dominate in the world’s greatest league. It certainly isn’t fair.

This past season, there were some moments of just what this kid could do but also a lot of struggles. What we should remember is that when play restarted, he was a force. Here’s that reminder.

Early indication points to Rangers and Ryan Strome signing a new deal

When it comes to his importance to this team, it’s not just about stats. The Rangers don’t have a lot of NHL ready centers able to take on the responsibility of 2nd line duties. Filip Chytil is a prime example of that, and the Rangers are still flirting with him on the wing so it is a fluid situation.

I reached out to Ryan’s agent who informed me that they are still in the “very early stages,” and that they are getting ready for the upcoming negotiations with the Rangers. This is a good sign that the two sides see a future together, but what that is short term versus long term remains to be seen.

new york rangers news
Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin celebrate (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

When it comes to numbers the Rangers are likely to offer, a deal around $4 to $5 million seems to make sense. On the flip side, Strome’s side will seek close to $6 to $7 million. 

The two sides will likely agree to something in the $5 or $5.5 million range. What remains to be seen will be the term, since the Rangers would like a two year deal. I’d expect Strome to be more inclined to take a one year deal since he will already be eligible for unrestricted status next summer. That isn’t the case for his fellow RFA’s, Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux.

Of course, there is always that risk that Strome may want to get this in front of an arbitrator. There would be a distinct possibility an arbitrator would award a one year deal at $6 million. This would put the Rangers in a position they may consider walking away from. Although highly unlikely, it’s possible. Just remember, Ryan Strome was acquired for Ryan Spooner and is one of the Jeff Gorton’s best moves. So I doubt this would turn into a Nik Zherdev situation, and I’m sure Panarin wants his center back.

Prediction: Strome gets a 1 year deal at $5.25 million AAV

More NHL and New York Rangers news

Another reminder to start every morning catching up on all the latest hockey news at The Daily Goal Horn.

Larry Brooks on Henrik Lundqvist coming back to NY.

Lodud looks at free agent targets for NYR.

Arizona makes one more desperate attempt to keep Taylor Hall.

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