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This might go against the spirit of a “trade destination” piece, but the most sensible and logical destination might simply be staying put.
First, the Rangers don’t have to trade Kakko. He is still under team control after this season (restricted free agent), and even though his offensive numbers have not been great, he still does a lot of things well on the ice.
He consistently posts some of the best possession and scoring chance differential numbers on the team, and New York isn’t really in a position to be subtracting players like that from its lineup unless it’s getting something significant back in return.
Which leads us to the second point.
As intriguing as Kakko might be as a trade chip for a team hoping to get the most out of him, his trade value might be at an all-time low right now. His production offensively is way down, even from what he has shown over the first four years of his career, and any team that trades for him will have to make an RFA decision after the season. It’s not the best time to be dangling him in trade offers.
Would the Rangers really get back the type of offer they want and one that would make them better in the short and long term? That’s debatable.
The most logical path here might be to keep Kakko, allow him to do what he does best in driving possession and hope that he finally has that breakout year offensively by the end of this season or the start of next.
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