This is what the internet says about the Kapanen trade

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On Tuesday, the Penguins made their first big move of the offseason with a huge trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kasperi Kapanen, a former Penguins draft (and Phil Kessel’s commercial member), had come to Pittsburgh with two others. The 2020 Penguins’ first-round draft pick and three players traveled to Toronto.

When news of Kapanen’s move to Pittsburgh broke, rumors immediately began to circulate about who was going the other way. Was it one of the keepers? Nick Bjugstad? Jared McCann? There was even a rumor tweeted that Jack Johnson was involved, but it was quickly deleted.

In the end, the two biggest chunks were Kapanen at the Penguins and the first-round pick northbound to Toronto. As with most exchanges in the NHL, the reaction on social media was swift to get everyone to put their two cents on the deal. It may take some time to analyze all the holds, especially with the big trades, but it was clear once the details started to come out that most did not view this trade favorably for the Penguins.

These tweets from our own Adam Gretz are part of a larger thread he has set up to discuss trade. Check it out if you get the chance, but his take on the matter was much more positive than some people were saying. It looks like Kapanen is what the Penguins are trying to do, targeting him at this point may not make sense.

Aside from the Penguins’ first-round pick for the Maple Leafs, another notable element of the comeback program was prospect Filip Hallander. Considered by many to be one of the top prospects in the Penguins organization, his inclusion with the first round pick has baffled many, including Athletic writer Jesse Marshall.

House of Luszczyszyn, également de L’Athletic, tweeted his thoughts on the deal and it’s not something Pens fans will be thrilled about. Kapanen was barely a replacement level player in 2019-20 and not worth the price Rutherford paid for him.

Again with the horrible replacement level numbers. It’s not that Kapanen can’t help the Penguins lineup, it’s more that they seemed to have paid way too much for a guy who doesn’t come with a cheap price.

Once you get past the main elements of the chord, it looks like the other elements have been used more to make the numbers work. As James Mirtle points out, unless the Leafs bring Rodrigues back, that trade basically comes down to Kapanen in exchange for two futures in the first round pick and Hallander.

As to why a sprint team like the Maple Leafs was willing to part ways with a sprint player like Kapanen, Mirtle explains exactly that.

While there have been issues with Kapanen in the top six in Toronto, Penguins has beaten writer Josh Yohe and believes he will connect directly to the Penguins’ top line alongside Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.

Yohe also makes another important point about the rest of the list. As the Penguins’ first two lines take shape, nothing is set in stone when it comes to the rest of the lineup. We know some players will definitely come back, but Rutherford is far from finished revamping his roster.

While Yohe projects Kapanen to be in the Penguins’ top six forwards group, there’s no guarantee until we see how he plays with these guys on the ice. Kapanen has never been one of the top six players for a consistent period at any point in his career and his underlying numbers show he is a better deep guy.

In the above tweet from James Mirtle, he mentioned that he didn’t think the Leafs would qualify Evan Rodrigues, who is expected to become a restricted free agent in a few weeks. Just because they don’t qualify him doesn’t mean they still can’t resign him, and if they do, they’ll replace Kapanen with a player of nearly equal performance.

What to choose the Penguins gave up to acquire Kapanen? According to Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, they’re not determined to keep the pick and could use it as leverage to make other moves as the offseason progresses.

As for Rutherford, it’s no secret that he wants to make the squad younger and faster, and he sees this profession as doing just that by bringing in Kapanen, 24. Rutherford also notes that he considers Kapanen one of the top six forwards.

Last but not least, a few words from Kapanen himself about his trade to Pittsburgh five years after being initially treated. It sounds like nothing but player excitement and he says all the right things you’d want a new guy to say as he prepares to bring his style of play to a team designed to use his skills. skills.


If you were on social media when this trade was announced, it was quite a whirlwind as coins started to drop and the entire trade appeared. On the surface, this is certainly a confusing move on the penguins’ part, but it also indicates that they are still in ‘win now’ mode as they try to maximize the Crosby / Malkin era window. as much as possible.

Rutherford traded a LOT of future in that deal, but even the two most notable elements of that deal (pick + Hallander) likely won’t be in the NHL’s picture until the window closes. Even knowing this, some may think that Rutherford is unnecessarily sacrificing the future by moving coins for less than optimal returns that don’t necessarily make the team even better in the present.

The truth is, we won’t know the full extent of this trade for many years to come when these choices and prospects succeed or break at the NHL level. If Kapanen comes in and helps the Penguins win another Stanley Cup, then much of that will be a distant memory when the new banner hangs at PPG Paints Arena.

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