Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen is one of 24 players from around the NHL to file for salary arbitration today.
That doesn’t mean he necessarily will have a hearing once those begin on July 27, however.
Most players and teams reach a contract agreement before it gets to that point, and a Penguins official expressed cautious optimism that that will be the case with Kapanen.
Kapanen, who will be 26 Saturday, just completed a three-year contract that carried a $3.2 million salary-cap hit. He signed that deal while playing for Toronto.
He has had two subpar seasons since returning to the Penguins, who selected him in Round 1 of the NHL Draft in 2014. Kapanen had an especially difficult one in 2021-22, when he put up 11 goals and 21 assists in 79 games and never was able to settle into a particular spot in the lineup.
Kasperi Kapanen is the only Pittsburgh Penguins player who will file for arbitration. Winger Danton Heinen also would have been eligible to do so, but the Penguins declined to give him a qualifying offer, so Heinen became an unrestricted free agent last week.
Winger Kasper Bjorkqvist also could have taken the Penguins to arbitration, but opted to sign to play in Europe next season. The Penguins did give him a qualifying offer, so they have retained his NHL rights.
Among the other players who filed for arbitration are defenseman Ethan Bear (Carolina), goalie Vitek Vanecek (New Jersey) and forwards Pavel Zacha (Boston), Jesse Puljujarvi (Edmonton), Jesper Bratt (New Jersey) and Mathieu Joseph (Ottawa, brother of Penguins defenseman P.O Joseph).