Kasperi Kapanen is anticipated to have signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, with a cap charge of $3.2 million, as first reported by Puck Pedia.
The #LetsGoPens re-signed RFA F Kasperi Kapanen to 2 year $3.2M Cap Hit Deal.— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 21, 2022
Will be UFA on expiry.
11G 32P in 79 GP
Rep'd by Markus Lehto @wassermanhockey https://t.co/ldSNQsXeIs
Details have not yet been made public, but Rob Rossi of The Athletic and others have confirmed them.
The Penguins’ decision to sign Kapanen thus early in order to lock him into a contract and avoid arbitration is highly unusual. Given that Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell are committed for the long haul, the cap hit is generous for a team that doesn’t require scoring line right wingers.
However, Kapanen wasn’t much of a goal scorer as a winger, netting only four goals in his final 56 appearances of a disappointing season.
Kapanen’s season performances have a history of being up and down; in 2020–21, his finishing was strong and he scored 30 points in 40 games. His issue in 2021–22 wasn’t just a dry spell or bad luck; it was a lack of proper game strategy and subpar performance that prevented him from succeeding.
It resulted in a season that had high hopes at first but continued to have poor points. In contrast to how he generally praises players, Sullivan gushed about Kapanen during training camp.
In a good way, Kapanen didn’t even come close to reaching that new level. During games, he was frequently benched, demoted from scoring lines, and even a healthy scratch.
However, Kapanen has a lot of talent and promise, as seen by Sullivan and the Penguins management, and he continues to pique their interest with his skill set and skating prowess.