Former Leafs 20-goal scorer Kasperi Kapanen dumped on waivers

Feb 24 2023, 6:42 pm

Four years after scoring 20 goals as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kasperi Kapanen is going on waivers today, available for any team in the NHL to pick him up for nothing.

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan informed reporters after practice today that the team has decided to dump Kapanen on waivers, in an apparent effort to rid themselves of his contract, which pays him $3.2 million per season and expires in 2024.

“When a team doesn’t live up to expectations, change is inevitable — that’s part of it,” Sullivan said about his Penguins team, which is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006 this year. “Kappy is a really talented player. To a certain extent, it’s on all of us because we didn’t find a way to maximize his potential.”

Kapanen is having a disappointing season in Pittsburgh, with just 20 points (7-13-20) in 43 games. The 26-year-old had 32 points (11-21-32) in 79 games last season.

It’s a far cry from the promise Kapanen showed as a Leaf at age 22, when he tallied 44 points in 78 games in 2018-19. He scored 20 goals that year, which earned him a three-year, $9.6 million contract from Leafs GM Kyle Dubas.

Toronto traded Kapanen to Pittsburgh in the summer of 2020, in a deal that brought the Leafs a first-round pick, which they used to select Rodion Amirov.

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