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Penguins

Kapanen Files for Salary Arbitration

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Kasperi Kapanen, Washington Capitals

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).

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Jack McCrory
Jack McCrory
27 days ago

I really can’t figure out why they want to retain him. not sure what he offers.

Justin
Justin
27 days ago
Reply to  Jack McCrory

Right! Should’ve definitely qualifed Heinen over him

Jay95
Jay95
26 days ago
Reply to  Justin

Heinen’s numbers were too good. He would have definitely gotten paid in arbitration. Kapanen is going to max out at 3mil, could come as low as 2/2.25. And, most likely, gets a deal for 2.5. At that number he’s worth it.

Even if they wanted Heinen they had to let him test as a UFA so they could sign him at a true value of around 2.5 also. I think Erod’s the main player that they’d like back under a good contact.

Jay95
Jay95
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack McCrory

Speed, a shot, and as much potential as any player in the league that’s not “generational”. If he signs for 2.5mil he’s a perfect 3rd liner with the ability to move up occasionally and possibly find his complete game somehow.

DaGama
DaGama
26 days ago
Reply to  Jay95

Let’s say that is a likely outcome, what is the likelihood it happens here?

Jay95
Jay95
26 days ago
Reply to  DaGama

Which part? That Erod would be desired back, or that Kapanen find his game?

Is say that neither is likely. Although, Kapanen even finding part of his game would be a huge plus.

Steve
Steve
27 days ago

I prefer to look at the positives. He’s a younger player on an older team. He is fast. Can be physical and can disrupt teams on the backcheck and forecheck. And he has shown potential, especially alongside Malkin who is getting older. He wants to play in Pittsburgh, and seems like a good teammate. But it’s a business. By his own admission he didn’t have a good year after the team made clear that they had high expectations. Those public admissions are honest and respectable, but may not help him before an arbitrator. I don’t know. I said it before,… Read more »

Irish Hammer
Irish Hammer
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve,
Actually great response that actually has command sense.

BIG B
BIG B
26 days ago

HIS FIRST SEASON WAS GREAT NOT SUBPAR WHEN HE RETURNED

Ed Andrews
Ed Andrews
26 days ago

Dont understand the fascination with kap,
if you cant play good witn Matthews and Marner, or Crosby and Malkin WTF

Last edited 26 days ago by Ed Andrews
Jay95
Jay95
26 days ago

Dave, I’m too lazy to go figure it out. But, with Poehling now on the roster, and assuming that 2 D men are put in the minors to start the season (I’m guessing Smith along with trying to pass Friedman through waivers), how much cap space do we have before inking Kapanen? For instance if we carry the other 7 d men, and 13 forwards with the remaining open spots guys at veteran minimums?

Jay95
Jay95
26 days ago
Reply to  Jay95

Soooo, I just crunched the numbers lol. As standing the Pens are going to need to, at most, pay Kapanen 2.75 mil. And, with that, carry 22 players. Archibald will have to be buried in the minors and Smith will have to be sent down. Additionally, one more D man would need to go down if they wanted flexibility to call up D or forwards. I’m guessing Friedman through waivers and Ruhwedel as #7. Ideally, if the Pens could get Kapanen for 2.5mil, they’d have 22 skates with O’Connor on the 4th line and anyone else signed to a 750k… Read more »

Fredrick
Fredrick
26 days ago

Everyone forgets 2 years ago when him and Geno played great together. Kapanen has the potential to click with Geno and be a solid 2nd line player. Last year was an off year for him. I still believe we should explore trading him for a prospect though. I think Rakell on the 2nd line makes Kapanen expendable.

Jay95
Jay95
26 days ago
Reply to  Fredrick

I really think that it depends on the contract that he gets. If anything I feel like the some of the younger guys that stepped up the last part of the year in the AHL make him expendable. Poulin and Puustinen looked good. Nylander is a VERY similar player who “should” easily put up similar numbers to Kap’s season last year.

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