Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers have re-signed forward Kaapo Kakko to his one year qualifying offer of $2.4 million. This is a very good deal for the Rangers. As noted in his report card, Kakko is a strong defensive forward who may have had some poor puck luck impact his offensive numbers. At worst, the Rangers get a cheap and effective shutdown forward.

But at best, the Rangers get that shutdown forward who, as we’ve seen, is fully capable of putting up 40 points. That would be a bargain and, if the rest of the offseason plans work out as the team hopes, could be a key cog in a retooled Cup run. Bargain bin scoring is critical.

As for Kakko, this is a show me deal. He knows he had a rough year offensively, and this gives him the motivation to earn more in his next contract. He likely earns more in this one-year show me than on the open market.

Food for thought: It’s easier to trade a player under contract than a player pending a contract, even an RFA. Doesn’t mean the Rangers are looking to trade Kakko, but since he’s under contract he’s easier to trade as a known entity.

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