The Penguins promised a lot of changes to their roster after a disappointing end to the year, and buckle up. It could be starting as soon as today:
Kasperi Kapanen is being traded to PIT— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 25, 2020
Rumblings this morning the Leafs and Penguins are working on a trade that would send Kasperi Kapanen to Pittsburgh.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 25, 2020
Obviously a lot more to come on this one. Kasperi Kapanen was originally drafted by the Penguins in the first round in 2014 but traded a year later to the Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel deal that rocked the hockey world.
Kapanen is under contract for two more years at $3.2 million. He’s had a pretty decent blossoming career, but a bit of a disappointing 2019-20 with a dip in goals and points from his career-high to date in 2018-19:
Kapanen isn’t exactly an analytic darling:
Kasperi Kapanen hasn't played much in his NHL career yet. He had a good 2018-19 season and a below replacement 2019-20 season. Lots of uncertainty. pic.twitter.com/HvYBvpYAxr— Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey) August 25, 2020
Kasperi Kapanen is a goal-scoring bottom six forward who has been extremely inconsistent so far in his career. The Penguins will hope that he can regain his 18-19 form, the only season in which he was a difference-maker. #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/YXfJGVjQnz— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) August 25, 2020
But he’s clearly a player that Jim Rutherford knows, and loves. Rutherford has ties to Kapanen’s father, Sami, from their days in Carolina.
Toronto and Pittsburgh make for odd trading partners since both don’t have a ton of salary cap space. But after early exits, both teams are looking to shake up their rosters. We still don’t know what is heading from Pittsburgh up north, but will update when it is announced. Depending on what it could be, this would be an appealing deal for the Pens or a questionable move.