In case you missed it yesterday, Finnish language publication Suomi Kiekko issued a report that claimed New York Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko will NOT be allowed to join his team for the upcoming 24 team Stanley Cup Playoff format due to complications with his Type 1 Diabetes and COVID-19 concerns.
From Suomi Kiekko:
The coronavirus is rampant in North America worse than ever, but the NHL playoffs are still set to begin at the turn of July and August. Currently, the details are being honed behind the scenes so that the disc season can be continued as safely as possible.
At the moment, it seems that Kaapo Kakko, the Finnish rookie of the New York Rangers, is not allowed to take part in the playoffs. He has type 1 diabetes.
Now, in Stage 4 of its Return to Play plan, the NHL has explicitly outlined rules for players who are found to be "at risk" due to underlying health conditions like Type 1 Diabetes. You would think that Kakko would fit the criteria given that infectious disease specialists have deemed diabetics to be more at risk when it comes to contracting and ultimately suffering from COVID-19. So far though, the NHL has yet to make a statement concerning Kakko or any other player, including Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi, himself another Type 1 diabetic.
Well, now a report from Rangers blog Blue Seat Blogs seems to indicate that indeed Kakko CAN play for the Rangers and join them for training camp when Phase 3 begins next Monday.
Check it out:
Vince Mercogliano of LoHud spoke to speak to a pair of doctors regarding Kaapo Kakko’s pre-existing health concerns (type 1 diabetes and celiac disease). The conclusion was that, given the proper precautions, Kakko should be able to play. Of course the Rangers will make the final call.
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as the proper precautions are going to be needed regardless of pre-existing conditions. The Rangers will just need to ensure extra care in Kakko’s situation.
Frankly... I don't know what to believe. I'll reserve my reaction for when I hear the news straight from the horse's mouth. Until the NHL and/or the Rangers make a statement on Kakko's eligibility, I'll hold my breath.