New York Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko may not win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie this season, but he does have one thing going for him — actor and comedian Larry David is in his corner.
David, famous for his work on "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" — defended Kakko during a lengthy interview on ESPN Radio's "The Michael Kay Show" on Tuesday.
The comedian questioned why Rangers coach David Quinn benched second-overall draft pick Kaapo Kakko in the third period of New York's game against the Calgary Flames on Jan. 2 after the young winger took a holding penalty.
“Why did [Quinn] bench Kakko in that third period after he scored?" David asked hosts Michael Kay and Don La Greca. "First goal in 14 games and an assist, [Quinn] benches him because he takes a bad penalty. C’mon, that’s ridiculous.”
— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) January 8, 2020
This interview, in turn, prompted Quinn to field questions about David's remarks and he had a message for the comedian.
"Listen, I've watched a few bad Seinfelds and Curb Your Enthusiasms as well so, I still love Larry David and his work," the head coach said with a smile and a laugh.
Hey Larry David.
Coach has some thoughts for you. pic.twitter.com/eix0atk4t8
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 9, 2020
Kakko's goal and assist in that game were his first points since Dec. 10 — the rookie scored his goal just minutes before he took the penalty that forced Quinn to sit him for the remainder of the game, which the Rangers lost 4-3.
David disagreed with La Greca's opinion on the air that a young player like Kakko needs to learn not to take bad penalties in one-goal games.
“You think putting him on the bench is going to [make him learn]?" David said. "He knows. Benching him isn’t going to do anything — they need another goal!”
The legendary comedian jokingly called La Greca a fraud when the host voiced support for Quinn, who has led the rebuilding Rangers to a 20-18-4 record (44 points) this season.
“I can’t believe we’re breaking down hockey with Larry David," La Greca remarked during the segment.