After embarrassing loss Pittsburgh Penguins placing former first round pick on waivers - expecting a trade

Published February 24, 2023 at 1:34 PM

Since re-joining the Pittsburgh Penguins after his stint in Toronto, Kasperi Kapanen has failed at every opportunity to live up to his potential in the NHL. Once thought to have been a consistent 20-goal threat with unbeatable speed, Kapanen's offensive production and overall game have completely flopped in Pittsburgh.

With just 7 goals and 20 points through 43 games this season, and another disappointing season the year before, it looks like the Penguins are moving on from Kapanen entirely. Absent from practice today, head coach Mike Sullivan informed reporters moments ago that Kapanen will be placed on waivers at 2:00 today.

This comes just hours removed from a report by Jay Zawaski of CHGO Sports, indicating that Kapanen could be packaged with other assets and moved to a rebuilding team, willing to absorb his $3.2M contract for the next two seasons. The reported compared the hypothetical move to the cap dump the Senators just completed with the Blackhawks for Nikita Zaitsev.

Unfortunately, it seems Kapanen wasn't able to put forth his best effort with his stint in Pittsburgh. If he is moved, the final year on his contract may serve to be his last chance to keep an NHL roster spot, even on a basement-level team.

Further, moving on from Kapanen provokes some interesting scenarios for the Penguins roster. In their current state, they could sell pieces, recoup some assets, gain cap flexibility, and try again to be competitive next season. On the other hand, with the added flexibility from moving Kapanen, it potentially allows the Penguins the cap space to improve their roster and push for the playoffs. The Penguins will be one of the league's most interesting teams to watch at the trade deadline next week.
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