Pittsburgh Penguins place Kasperi Kapanen on waivers

The Pittsburgh Penguins placed winger Kasperi Kapanen on waivers to send him to the American Hockey League.

Kapanen was supposed to be in training today but was held up as he will be on a waiver. The move should give the Pens roster some flexibility and capping space ahead of the trade deadline, and with Kapanen in the trade rumors, it’s possible waiving him could give the Pens a bit more value in the market as he won’t need waivers when the team acquires him.

“Hexy informed me before practice that he was held up because he was going on waivers here this afternoon,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “When a team fails to meet expectations, change is inevitable – that’s part of it. Kappy is a really talented player. To some degree, it’s on all of us because we haven’t found a way to maximize its potential.

It comes after the Penguins were eliminated 7-2 by the Edmonton Oilers and are in a tailspin as they have lost their last five straight games. They are currently one point away from a playoff spot with a 27-21-9 record.

Kapanen has struggled to stay in the lineup this season, having been a healthy scratch for the team on several occasions. His production wasn’t too far off his usual level with seven goals, 13 assists and 20 points in 43 games, but it was his play away from the puck that gave him some trouble in Pittsburgh.

Kapanen is in the first year of a two-year contract with a $3.2 million cap, which he signed during the offseason when the Penguins doubled their current roster, also bringing back Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust, Rickard Rakell, Jeff Carter and Casey DeSmith.

Kapanen was originally a 22nd overall pick for the Penguins in 2014, but was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of Phil Kessel’s trade in 2015 before later being traded to the Penguins in 2020, this times as the central point of the trade.

Nashville Predators defenseman Kevin Gravel was also placed on waivers today. He is currently in the first year of a two-year contract capped at $762,500 and has one assist in 13 games with the Preds this season.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger cleared yesterday’s waivers. He has yet to play hockey this season after suffering a torn right ACL during the 2022 World Hockey Championship for Canada, and is in the second year of a three-year contract with a 3 cap. .5 million dollars.

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