Comedian Larry David criticizes David Quinn for benching rookie Kaapo Kakko, New York Rangers head coach claps back

Sporting News

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.

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“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.”

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.

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.

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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.

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