Penguins, Leafs strike multi-player deal

Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has always eyed the opportunity to reacquire Kasperi Kapanen and Rutherford today accomplished that goal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs have struck a multi-player deal that will send Kapanen, the Penguins 2014 first round pick, back to Pittsburgh.


In the deal the Penguins will receive Kasperi Kapanen, forward Pontus Aberg and defenseman Jesper Lindgren.

Toronto receives Pittsburgh’s 2020 first round pick (15), prospect Filip Hallander, forward Evan Rodrigues and defenseman David Warsofsky

It’s big news for Pittsburgh who strive to get faster and younger with actual impact players. There’s a difference between wanting to get faster and younger and getting faster and younger with a player who can actually impact your top-9 and what the Penguins hope is a top-6 level impact.

Kapanen fits the bill, a young strong two-way player with speed that plays with tempo who addresses an immediate need at the right wing spot with Phil Kessel traded last summer and Patric Hornqvist done as a top-6 player 5 vs 5. That said, Kapanen is a tweener type of player who looks everything of a top-6 caliber player but has yet to consistently produce as one which is going to have some critical of the price the Penguins just paid.

After a 20 goal season in 18-19, Kapanen dipped to 13 goals and 36 points in 69 games for the Leafs this season, leading to frustration in Leafs circles as Kapanen creates enough individual offense where there is clear 25-30 goal ability, while he produced this past season as a third line level player.

Kapanen carries a $3.2 million cap hit for the next two seasons.