Laval Rocket Sign Kasimir Kaskisuo To Extension

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens American Hockey League affiliate the Laval Rocket announced the club agreed to terms on a one-year one-way AHL contract with goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo on Monday afternoon.

The deal kicks in next year, and although it’s just one more season, it shows the club’s belief in the veteran. Kaskisuo’s arrival helped secure a rather shaky goaltending group for the Rocket. As expected, rookie goaltender Jakub Dobes struggled out of the gate and Strauss Mann was more of the same.

Kaskisuo swooped in and steadied the ship, which allowed the club to stay pat in the fight for a playoff spot. It also allowed Dobes to find his footing, which objectively, is equally important to the team.

A big reason for the Rocket’s place in the standings, Kaskisuo earned every bit of his one-year extension. The native of Vantaa, Finland., is sporting a 5-1-0 record, 2.70 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. The 30-year-old has served as a perfect backup to the 6-foot-5 Dobes.

With a handful of high draft picks throughout the Rocket lineup, the Canadiens needed a fixture between the pipes. Fortunately for both the player and the team, the marriage has been smooth sailing. Laval has also been able to evaluate what they have with both goaltenders, without rushing Dobes. 

With a 21-20-5-2 record, the Rocket are on the outside looking in, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger success story than Kaskisuo. If they can squeeze into the playoffs, they are sure to get some reinforcements, with Lane Hutson likely to turn pro over the next month or so. David Reinbacher could also grab a spot on the Rocket blueline.

With 22 combined games of AHL playoff experience coming in 2017-18 and 2019-20 with the Toronto Marlies, Kaskisuo could be the exact push over the edge that the Rocket need. With Cayden Primeau non-waiver eligible, Kaskisuo and his 14-6-0 Calder Cup playoff record become more important. There will be no three-goalie rotation for the Rocket, which is ideal for both the veteran and the rookie.

You would have to think if Laval can make a nice push to secure their place in the Calder Cup playoffs, the Canadiens might have a couple of players they could send down to help. Joshua Roy could slot right into the Rocket top six and Arber Xhekaj in the Rocket top four on the blueline. The fact that there is even a discussion about the playoffs, tells you all you need to know about Kaskisuo's impact on the team.