The New York Rangers will be without Kaapo Kakko for at least a month, and for the time being his place on the roster has been taken by Morgan Barron.
Kakko is going to be out for "a while," according to Gallant. "At least a month."— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) February 11, 2022
No details beyond upper-body injury. #NYR
This news is a major bummer for the Rangers, as the initial report indicated that Kakko’s injury was something that had been going up for a little while, and overall wasn’t too serious.
On Kakko's late scratch with an upper-body injury, Gallant said it wasn't something that started during warmups: "It’s been going on for a little while," adding that it's "nothing serious."— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) January 23, 2022
As you may have guessed, he said Kakko and Chytil are day-to-day. #NYR
In terms of a timeline, a month from today is March 11, and the Rangers are scheduled to play 11 more games between now and then. March 11 is also exactly 10 days before the NHL trade deadline, and it is fair to say that this injury could prompt Chris Drury to step up his efforts in making a deal or two.
The Rangers’ right wing depth has been weak all year long, and currently Alexis Lafrenière is the only true top-six talent on the right side, and even that has him playing his off wing. While Kakko may only miss a month, there’s no telling how he will feel a month from now.
Not too long ago we saw how much Filip Chytil was impacted by an injury, and how out of place he looked upon returning. There’s also no telling if the timeline of Kakko’s recovery from injury will change, and it would be in the Rangers’ best interest to prepare for a worst case scenario to be on the safe side.
The Rangers have been picking up points all season long despite their notable holes, but it will be interesting to see if out of necessity the team will finally take steps via trade that will result in improved 5v5 play, and a much deeper overall roster.
The Rangers don’t play again until Tuesday, February 15 vs. the Boston Bruins, and there’s certainly time for a minor move to be made which puts the team in a better spot while Kakko is sidelined.