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Penguins Trade: Kapanen Coming Home, GMJR Trades 1st Round Pick

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Pittsburgh Penguins trade rumors Kasperi Kapanen

Details are still sketchy as of 11:25 a.m., but multiple sources confirmed to PHN the Pittsburgh Penguins have re-acquired Toronto Maple winger Kasperi Kapanen, in exchange for the Penguins first round pick (15th overall) and prospect Filip Hallander. The Penguins also received Swedish prospect defenseman, Jesper Lindgren.

As part of the deal, teams swapped minor leaguers with defenseman David Warsofsky going to Toronto and Pontus Aberg coming to the Penguins. Aberg was part of the 2017 Nashville Predators lineup which the Penguins defeated to win the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins also traded the rights to RFA Evan Rodrigues, whom the Penguins acquired as part of the Conor Sheary deal at the NHL trade deadline. Rodrigues played six games for the Penguins.

Aberg played five NHL games this season with one assist. He’s played 132 career games in the NHL over five seasons and scored 17 goals.

Both Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet and Daren Dreger of TSN reported Kapanen was about to return to the organization which made him a first-round pick in 2014. Kapanen has two years remaining on his contract which carries a $3.20 million AAV.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now was the first to report that Hallander and the coveted first-round pick were going to Toronto.

Kapanen, 24, would fit the direction GM Jim Rutherford prescribed in his season-ending press conference. Rutherford said the Penguins needed to get younger and hungrier. The forward would also join a growing number of Finnish natives in the Penguins system.

Kasperi Kapanen has completed two full NHL seasons and scored 44 and 36 points respectively. He has been utilized primarily as a bottom-six winger with the talented Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season, Kapanen had 20 goals and 44 points but slipped to just 13 goals this season.

Rumor blogs pounced on early word of the deal and scurried speculation included Jack Johnson, but a team source told PHN that was not true. Fake accounts also mentioned Bryan Rust, but that also was not true.

The Penguins changes were necessitated after two straight opening-round losses, while Toronto has been bounced from the NHL postseason in four straight opening rounds.

Lindgren, 23, is a Swedish defenseman with a slight build. The 6-foot, 161-pound defenseman has been loaned to a Swedish team for the upcoming season as uncertainty surrounds the AHL season. Lindgren played 31 AHL games this season and scored nine points (1g, 8a). He has played only 35 games in North America after he also played four AHL games for the Toronto Marlies in 2017-18.

Lindgren was the fourth-round choice for Toronto in 2015. His style may remind some of Marcus Pettersson, as Lindgren is a smooth-skating defender with a good first pass.

PHN will have a full analysis of the trade when the details are final.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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BoldRuler
BoldRuler
1 year ago

My first response has been “Ughhhhhh” because GM Jim Rutherford hasn’t exactly been rolling seven elevens lately. But this is a wait and see how it turns out move. Obviously, some in-season moves did not workout last season with the dismissal by the Canadiens.

BIG B
BIG B
1 year ago

Good trade for GMJR.The trolls are already jumping all over this but it is a good trade.

Zane Gearhart
Zane Gearhart
1 year ago

This means GMJR thinks he traded a 15th overall for a top line right wing for sid, or that HQ is gone. If KK is a 3rd line right wing, then we lose HQ for a less proven scorer and the lowest draft pick we’ve had in years. Maybe the wrong people were let go…

Katz
Katz
1 year ago

No 1st in 3020. No 1st in 2021. Recycled Kasperi Kapanen a good penalty killer and probable a 2nd Line winger ticketed for Crosby’s Right side.

Lindgren, 23, is a Swedish defenseman with a slight build. LOL between him and Pierre Oliver Joseph they can go for the Anorexia Defense pairing.

Is this team going for the easiest to play against lifetime achievement award?

Hey Sherry’s back. Kapanen’s back, I say bring back Beau Bennett.!

Hatrick Pornqvist
Hatrick Pornqvist
1 year ago

I don’t love the first round pick going away but our future 3-4 years from now really doesn’t concern me. We all know some rough years are ahead after the window closes on 87 and 71’s careers. Kapanen, if you can put the deal aside, is a great addition if you ask me. He was buried a bit down the depth chart in Toronto and the culture of that team is one I am not a big fan of. Not a ton of hustle or urgency to their game. I think Kapanen is a more solid player than his box… Read more »

Ed Andrews
Ed Andrews
1 year ago

Im with the UGHHHHH< Damn at least Domi has some stones, So Pitt trades for a traded pick (Kap) to get him back and losses Rodriguez who has a lot of upside, Its starting to sound like the Hagglin debacle, I think JR may need to take some geritol pills Hey I hear Stamkos may be on the trade block why dont you go for him too. Maybe JR will trade Murray to the Avs for Ian cole

Joe Pietropaolo
Joe Pietropaolo
1 year ago

I’m not sold on Kapanen and an unproven Lindgren worthy of a first round pick at #15. Kapanen did produce when placed within the top 6 at Toronto and from what I can remember he was rewarded as such when producing but once the well dried up back to the bottom 6. He was key in acquiring Phil Kessel and I hope that won’t be what he’s remembered for. Aberg for Warsofsky? Lateral move possibly to save money? NOT the deal I was expecting this soon. GMJR is just getting started. Looking through the organization, you are correct in stating… Read more »

Ricardo58
Ricardo58
1 year ago

Just my 2 cents, but the notion that 87 and 71 remain on the does not equate the window is still open to be a legit cup contender. Will the same mentality exist 3 years from now because 87 and 71 are still on the team that the window is still open. The Pens are not at the level of the NYI who don’t have a legendary player such as 87 and 71. However, the Pens will chase NYI and similar teams in the future. The continued mortgaging of the team continues. I’m a fan of KK, but to include… Read more »

Rich Filardi
Rich Filardi
1 year ago

Today i dont care for the trade. Does it help this team, yes- is he worth a 1st – meh. 2nd for sure. I dont like moving the 1st and am of the belief, this team is not a cup contender, playoff team, perhaps if dont lose allot of man games. There are too many holes that need upgrades as well as some luck needed. I’ii wait to see what other deals net. This didnt not affect the room.I haven’t trusted in JR for awhile

Last edited 1 year ago by Rich Filardi
BIG B
BIG B
1 year ago

Jesper Lindgren, an impressive blend of skill, speed, determination, and intelligence, is the one player you don’t want to see carrying the puck if you are his adversary. The nimble puck-carrying defenseman plays above his age, and is confident enough in his abilites to make creative plays under pressure. He is poised with the puck and possesses a high level of hockey sense; he is always aware of what is unfolding in the play, and never seems to make irrational decisions or bend under adversity. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in spirit and cunning. However, he… Read more »

cfuller
cfuller
1 year ago

Let the trading begin. Next, trade Murray and package the contract of either Johnson or Bjugstad if at all possible. Trade Letang for assets as Letang will never play in any type of system and also sends message to rest of the team that you never go down without a fight. Finally, stop letting Sid have a say in personnel decisions.

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