Penguins Make Bold Decision By Placing Kapanen On Waivers

"Fire Hextall" chants were loud during the Pittsburgh Penguins' blowout loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Not that this had any impact on the decision, but it just so happens that Kasperi Kapanen was placed on waivers after being held out from practice this morning. Head coach Mike Sullivan said that Hextall informed him of the decision before practice.

Kapanen has been wildly inconsistent this season and has bounced around in the lineup, most recently playing on the fourth line. He has even been a healthy scratch at times this season and has seven goals and 20 points in 43 games.

The Penguins have been trying to move him, but his cap hit, inconsistent play, and term made it very tough. The feeling was that they also didn't want to have to give up an asset to move him and the team has been slipping down the standings as of late. Though the Penguins could still make some moves, at the very least it gives another player a shot in the lineup and frees up a portion of Kapanen's cap hit by having him in the AHL.

It is unlikely any team will take him off of waivers, but a trade could follow with a bit of cap retention seeing as he would then be able to freely be sent up and down between the NHL and AHL after clearing. The Penguins could also buy out the last year of his contract in the offseason which may be the most likely option. I don't believe this is the last time we will see Kapanen in the NHL, but he may not be playing for the Penguins much longer.

Photo credit: © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports