NHL Rumors: New York Rangers, UFA Defensemen, and the Chicago Blackhawks

It might be time for a change of scenery for Kaapo Kakko

Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Don’t believe the New York Rangers need to trade forward Kaapo Kakko, but a change of scenery might be the best for Kakko.

It’s been five years, and he’s played over 300 NHL games and it may be time for a fresh start.

He is still only 23-years-old a former second-overall pick, and they shouldn’t just give him away. He’s a pending RFA and may be inline for a one-year deal at around $2.5 million.

The Rangers likely wouldn’t trade him for a second or third round pick or a suspect prospect. Would expect him to be included as a piece in a larger deal.

NHL Rumors: Any Igor Shesterkin – New York Rangers Extension Talks Will Be Interesting

Free agent defensemen could hit big paydays this offseason

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Loser Thinking episode on a payday coming for UFA defensemen.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

“Like, like, I’ll tell you something right now, Jeff, is that I have guys telling me that there’s some defenseman this year that are going to hit massive paydays. Because you just look at all the teams looking for defenseman.

I mean Utah has nobody signed. Carolina has a bunch of guys not signed and they’ve got two of the UFA’s. You know, Dallas is spots. Everybody thinks Toronto is looking for two defensemen. If you’re a good D, This is the right time.

The Chicago Blackhawks will have options at the Draft

Charlie Roumeliotis: The Chicago Blackhawks traded up two spots in the first round to No. 18 (a couple of weeks ago). Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson on trading up from No. 20 to No. 18: “It just kind of came up and just felt the pick package was a better one afterwards than previous and so we did it. … If we can marginally improve what we consider the pick values that we were receiving, then why not? I think we’ve had a lot of volume in the last certainly two drafts, so it just made sense. It wasn’t a precursor or anything like that. It just made sense at the time so we just did it.”

NHL Rumors: Detroit Red Wings, and the Chicago Blackhawks

Adam Kimelman of NHL.com: The Chicago Blackhawks have made 22 selections in the past two drafts and have two picks in each of the first three rounds this year.

GM Davidson:

“I think we’re in a good spot so we can potentially get creative, and that could mean many different things. But we’ve got options.”