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Breaking: Blues Claim Kapanen Off Waivers



Pittsburgh Penguins, Kasperi Kapanen

ST. LOUIS — If Kasperi Kapanen plays in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game this afternoon, it won’t be for them.

St. Louis, which the Penguins will face at 3:38 p.m. Eastern at the Enterprise Center, claimed him off waivers today.

Having Kapanen off their roster frees $3.2 million in salary-cap space, which could give GM Ron Hextall a bit of flexibility to make a move before the NHL trade deadline next Friday.

Although Kapanen was coming off a dismal performance in 2021-22, Hextall re-signed him to a two-year contract worth a total of $6.4 million.

That move surprised many observers, and Kapanen — who was the Penguins’ first-round draft choice in 2014 before being traded to Toronto — did little in 2022-23 to validate management’s investment in him.

There has been no indication that Kapanen, who had seven goals and 13 assists in 43 games this season, actually will be in the Blues’ lineup today.

At the very least, his departure allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins to activate defenseman Jan Rutta, who has a $2.75 million cap hit, off injured-reserve for today’s game. Coach Mike Sullivan said a short time ago that he considered Rutta a “gametime decision.”

Sullivan also said that Tristan Jarry will make his third consecutive start in goal.