NHL Rumors: Pittsburgh Penguins Listening to Trade Offers

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a streaky team in 2021-22 and are looking to become more consistent in the second half. They are finally getting back to full strength and anytime you have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on your team you go for the Stanley Cup. Don't expect the Penguins to trade all their top prospects and draft picks, but there's a current roster player who is drawing some trade interest from other teams. 

Kasperi Kapanen

The speedy winger has bounced all over the Penguins lineup of late. Kapanen has zero points in his last five games and has seen his ice-time decrease with each contest. There's a lot of variables involved in his future with the franchise:
  • 25 years old
  • pending restricted free agent; $3.2 million cap hit
  • on pace for close to a career season statistically
  • zero points in his last five games; minus -2 
  • Penguins have both Bryan Rust and Evan Rodrigues ahead of Kapanen on the depth chart and both Rust and Rodrigues are pending unrestricted free agents
  • Ex-general manager Jim Rutherford loves "Kappy's" game, it's hard to say exactly how everyone including head coach Mike Sullivan, general manager Ron Hextall and president of hockey operations Brian Burke are feeling at the moment
  • Kapanen played only 8:03 on Jan.30 vs. Los Angeles Kings
  • among Maple Leafs leaders for avg. ice-time shorthanded from 2017-2020, Penguins don't play him on the penalty kill
  • scored five shorthanded goals during his tenure in Toronto
Kapanen has found himself in the dog house of late in Pittsburgh and with the team having some major decisions to make on some key pieces, he could be on the outside looking in for next season. It's always seemed strange the Penguins have no interest in playing Kapanen on the PK considering how experienced he is and how well he's performed. His role in Pittsburgh isn't necessarily suited for his game. Teams have been calling to get a sense of the price tag and some teams who are expected to be interested include the Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes. 

Photo credit:  Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports/ Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports