Kasperi Kapanen’s second stint with the Penguins has been bumpy, to put it lightly. He impressed in 2020-21 with 30 points in 40 games and it looked like he had finally become a consistent top-six winger. However, his per-game production slipped last year to the point where there were questions about whether or not he’d be tendered last summer by Pittsburgh. He ultimately was, inking a two-year, $6.4MM contract but has slid down the depth chart to the point where he has recently been a healthy scratch.
Accordingly, Dave Molinari of Pittsburgh Hockey Now argues that the time has come for the Penguins to part ways with the 26-year-old. Playing a limited role (or not playing at all) isn’t going to help his trade value so he suggests that waiving him is the next best course of action (assuming there isn’t a viable trade out there). If he clears, he’d get an opportunity to play a bigger role and perhaps rediscover his scoring touch while giving Pittsburgh a bit of cap flexibility ($1.125MM of his AAV would come off). At this point, with the alternatives being having him struggle or in the press box, it’s an option that GM Ron Hextall might be considering.
Elsewhere in the East:
- The Department of Player Safety announced that they’ve fined Capitals winger Garnet Hathaway $4,054 and Lightning winger Patrick Maroon $2,703 for unsportsmanlike conduct. Those amounts, which work out to 50% of their daily pay, are the maximum permitted in the CBA. The incident occurred during last night’s game during a review of the check to the head from Nicolas Aube-Kubel on Cal Foote; both players received a five-minute major and a ten-minute misconduct on the play.
- Sabres winger Kyle Okposo will miss tonight’s game against Boston, relays Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald. The captain is dealing with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. While the 34-year-old only has one goal in the early going, he’s tied for third on Buffalo with eight assists through 14 games. Jack Quinn will return to the lineup in Okposo’s place after being a healthy scratch on Thursday night.