Irresponsible Rumormongering

Thoughts on the Mikko Lehtonen rumors

KHL's top defenseman's social media focuses on the Rangers

Update: Seven minutes after this was posted, he signed with the Leafs. Figures. I’m leaving this up here because I’m stubborn.

Over the weekend, news broke that the KHL’s top defenseman Mikko Lehtonen would not be re-signing in the KHL. After that, he was linked to several teams, including the cross-town New Jersey Devils. However some sleuthing saw that Lehtonen was following the New York Rangers, one of his more recent follows, on Instagram.

Naturally speculation began to swirl once that was discovered. There could be a simple explanation, as he also follows Kaapo Kakko, and he’s a Ranger. Since we don’t know exactly when he followed the Rangers, we can’t really pinpoint anything else other than he follows the Rangers. There are reports out of the Czech Republic that he’s interested in the Rangers too, but I have no idea how credible that is.

As for the fit, well Lehtonen is a left handed defenseman and the Rangers have a huge hole to fill there. At 26 years old, he put up a line of 17-32-49 in 60 games. He’s a great skater with a booming shot off the pointHe’s also Finnish, and you know how I feel about hockey players from Sweden and Finland. They just do everything right. He’s expected to be able to slide into the lineup right away.

The problem with thinking he’s going to be a Ranger is that, well, it sets you up for disappointment. All 31 teams in the league want Lehtonen. The only thing we are working off of is his Instagram, which is a poor source to form any logical rumor. It’s all speculation at this point.

We only know two things: 1) He’s a UFA, and 2) He follows the Rangers on Instagram. That’s it. As a UFA, I don’t believe he is subject to the standard entry level contract rules in the NHL. I think it’s up to the highest bidder. This goes into that cap space conundrum the Rangers will be going through this summer.

One other note on Lehtonen: He would not be available to the Rangers if the 2019-2020 season resumes. He would be signed beginning in 2020-2021.

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  • interesting candidate. I think we know 3 things. He follows Kaapo Kakko too…but agree he could land anywhere

  • May 4, 2020, 9:26 AM
    TORONTO — In an uncertain economy, the Maple Leafs have found a cost-controlled addition for their blue line.

    Mikko Lehtonen signed a one-year, entry-level contract Monday, choosing Toronto from a long list of available NHL suitors.

  • Toronto has an increasing Russian community, which probably has something to do with Lehtonen’s signing.

        • I’m aware of that, thanks. Doesn’t change anything about my statement.

          Stalinist Russia also invaded Finland in 1939, and the Finns fought them off and stopped the invasion. The Finns don’t have a lot of love for Russia in any form. To imply that they’re similar is incorrect. The only similarities the 2 countries have is in their weather.

          • Coming from Finland, maybe he has some relatives still living in Russia. When my wife and I go back to Italy, pretty much every year, we still visit our families there.

            Just saying that coming from there, I still have emotional attachments, and family there, but growing up here, I run red, white, and blue blood thru my veins.

            The guy is good, and would have been a great addition to our team, but it wasn’t meant to be, and so be it……..

          • I hear you Walt—but think of Finns like the Irish, and Russia is like England. No love lost between them, and a long memory for the sufferings inflicted by the dominant nation.

            You’re not gonna catch any Irish person singing “God Save the Queen”. And you’re not gonna find many Finns sympathizing with Russia.

          • Excuse me, but you don’t know what you are talking about. Obviously you have never traveled outside of that hole you call your home in the middle of nowhere. Stick with hockey you ignorant bigot. Loser

          • Far off Queue. Where do you get your facts? From the bottom of your Captain Crunch cereal box? I’d say you were a bit “dilusional” as you would spell it, eh chum?

      • I guess I assumed that he was Russian playing in the KHL.

        My bad, lol. But maybe he likes Russian people? 🙂

  • Dave, I’m glad you’re stubborn. If you pulled this wouldn’t have seen it, arriving late and all. I wish I would have seen it before the update, but I didn’t. If I had, it would have been the most exciting thing in a long time, and let’s face it the Rangers win these a lot. Anyway, I hope everyone is staying safe. At least the weather in SoFlo is spectacular

    • Yeah this feels like a “L” for the Rangers town. This dude is beyond cool with playing either side. The left side is pretty open and will have untested kids trying to win a spot on opening night. Cheap/young and could have maybe been a friend for Kappo.

      Rumors were suggesting that he was deff going to NJ. Those came out around May 1st all over the hockey community. I’m not sure why some still thought there was a chance to get this guy.

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