Blues claim Kasperi Kapanen off waivers from Penguins

kasperi kapanen, nhl, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues

Kasperi Kapanen is on the move, as Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports that the Blues have claimed the winger off waivers from the Penguins.

The 26-year-old is in the midst of a tough season that has seen him record just seven goals and 13 assists in 43 games and being a healthy scratch on multiple occasions. When he has been in the lineup, Kapanen is averaging just over 12 minutes a night — a career low. However, prior to this season, he has been a capable middle-six winger, ranging between 11 and 20 goals over the last four seasons between Pittsburgh and Toronto. He is one of the faster players in the league as well.

With that track record, it’s understandable that St. Louis would want to take a flyer on Kapanen to try to restore some value. However, it does come with a somewhat notable salary commitment as the winger is in the first season of a two-year contract that carries a $3.2M cap hit. As a result of that claim, the Blues will take the entirety of that contract on. Prior to the claim, they had nearly $71M of commitments on the books for next season, per CapFriendly, with this claim pushing that number up to nearly $74M for 16 players. That won’t leave them with a lot of wiggle room to add to the back of their roster.

Meanwhile, it’s a disappointing end to Kapanen’s tenure with Pittsburgh with the Pens moving a first-round pick to reacquire him from Toronto less than two-and-a-half years ago. However, the move gives them some much-needed financial flexibility. Being claimed allowed the Penguins to activate
Jan Rutta from LTIR without needing to make any other roster moves. They will now have a bit more space to try to add another piece before the trade deadline.

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