Leafs Trade Kapanen to the Penguins

by | Aug 25, 2020 | News, NHL, Rumors | 70 comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded right wing Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins:




The Toronto Maple Leafs trade Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kapanen is returning to the club that drafted him 22nd overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. He was traded the following year to the Leafs as part of the deal that sent Phil Kessel to the Penguins.

A 20-goal scorer in 2018-19, the 24-year-old right-winger tallied 13 goals and 36 points in 69 games this season. He’ll bring speed and decent offensive skills to Pittsburgh’s forward lines. His addition could signal Conor Sheary’s departure from the Penguins via the unrestricted free agent market at the season’s end.

Aberg is a restricted free agent who spent most of his career bouncing between the NHL and the AHL. He’ll likely end up with the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton if he re-signs. Lindgren is in the second year of a three-year, two-way contract and is also likely headed to the AHL next season. 

The Leafs shed Kapanen’s $3.2 million annual average value through 2021-22,  giving them $7.7 million in cap room for 2020-21. They also replace the first-round pick they traded to Carolina last year in the Patrick Marleau deal. A 15th-overall selection is just two picks lower than the one they sent to the Hurricanes. 

It was rumored throughout this season that the Leafs might use Kapanen as trade bait for a top-four, right-side defenseman. It’ll be interesting to see if management retains that pick or use it to address their immediate blueline needs.

The Leafs also picked up an affordable depth forward in Rodrigues, who’s a restricted free agent coming off a one-year, $2-million contract. He could be headed to the AHL Marlies next season depending on what other moves Leafs management has in store.  Warsofsky has a year remaining on his two-way contract and is likely headed to the Marlies next season.

Hallander could be intriguing. Dobber Hockey indicates he’s a dangerous offensive forward with good skating and decent defensive skills. However, he didn’t stand out during last August’s World Junior Summer Showcase and suffered a fractured leg that cost him half the season. The 20-year-old might become an NHL regular one day but the jury seems out on him for now. He’s on a one-year contract for next season with SHL club Lulea HC. If he doesn’t make the Leafs next season, he’ll be skating in Sweden. 


  1. Soooooo Leafie Fans, are they keeping this pick or trading it with something else for a D-man ?

    • Moving it

      This player (15th) won’t be NHL bound (if he does make it) until 22/23… by then Leafs at the peak of their Cup window and likely wouldn’t use him

  2. I can understanf this from Leafs perspective – assuming they flip that first. I don’t fully understand Pitts motivation, Kap is a nice player, but thought they could get a better haul for that package.

    • Hi Kevin

      Most of deal … 4 players… are a wash

      Basically Rodrigues + 15th for Kappy

      Kappy will take Sheary’s spot for basically the same cap… and he’s bigger, faster; 4 years younger and has better numbers than Sheary

      Because it was Sheary and ER for Kahun; it’s Kahun &15th for Kappy; or taking it one step further and how Kahun was acquired …

      Maata & 15th overall for Kappy…. faster, better, 2 years younger; 900 K cheaper

    • Hi Kevin

      Most of deal … 4 players… are a wash

      Basically Rodrigues + 15th for Kappy

      Kappy will take Sheary’s spot for basically the same cap… and he’s bigger, faster; 4 years younger and has better numbers than Sheary

      Because it was Sheary and ER for Kahun; it’s Kahun &15th for Kappy; or taking it one step further and how Kahun was acquired …

      Maata & 15th overall for Kappy…. faster, better, 2 years younger; 900 K cheaper

      • Not sure how that duplication happened

      • thanks Pengy! Somehow I still think Pitts got short end of deal.

  3. Big mistake…. should have dealt Johnsson and Nylander instead they deal Kapanen.

    Not sure this one works, unless 1st is packaged for a D then we will see what D.

    • Hi Bottom Line

      When I first read your post it scared me tremendously

      Then I realized you had two “ss” in Johnsson

      My first glance interpreted that you had meant the trade should have been WW for JJ …. 🤬😭

      Glad I re-read it before I had a heart attack

  4. 15th overall for Kap is a great deal. The rest doesn’t even really matter.

    • Hi ShoreOrrPark

      I think it’s fair both sides

      It’s good for me as Kappy is one of the players I like so he goes from one of my two fav teams to the other

  5. this is such a 2020 trade

  6. Leafs shed salary get a tradable asset and an ok prospect in hallender. Pens get a middle six talent young cost controlled. I don’t know much about lindgren. Good hockey trade.

    • Something else is obviously brewing for both teams, Chrisms. Taking on Kapanen leaves the Pens with $9,171,492 to sign 6 with their 7 RFAs, costing $8,876,230 off the cap this year sure to cost well in excess of $10 mil once the extensions are done. Clearly, UFAs Sheary, Marleau and Schultz are history.

      In Toronto’s case, shedding Kapanen’s $3.2 mil leaves them with $7,791,467 to sign 7 and their 5 RFAs (now including Rodrigues) made $5,213,333 off the cap this year and that, too, will exceed what they have left. Also, there’s UFA Clifford to consider ($800,000) who will probably add another $200,000 at least to the cost.

      • RFA Rodrigues has arbitration rights and, if extended a qualifying offer, that means $2 mil. Since Dubas still needs to clear cap space to get the rest of his RFAs under contract, never mind go after a qualified D, you can almost bet Rodrigues won’t be wearing the blue & white.

      • I believe. As you don’t. That Murray will be traded. That’s one less Rfa. Desmith is a competent back up.

      • If I was to guess who the next one out the door would be I would say it’s a certain dman that makes 3.2. Shultz is gone too.

      • Hi Deee

        Re “ If I was to guess who the next one out the door would be I would say it’s a certain dman that makes 3.2“

        That’s $3.25 …. but who’s counting ….. Moi 😁

        He should have been gone long ago… 3 of the last 7 playin/playoff loses all on him; and another co-shared loss

        Ownership says cut costs… buyout and replace him with Riikola or Czuczman or P-O J…. Net save of $2.5 M cash and $1.3 M Cap in EACH of the next two years… and team gets massively better; all teammates stats improve; fans ecstatic… no brainer

      • Chrisms, the figures I cite above do not included Rodrigues on the Pens – CapFriendly had already adjusted. And if, as you are certain, they will be able to deal Murray, cite one team where you think it could happen and we’ll pick up the debate from there.

        When mentioning Clifford above, if the Leafs opt to re-sign him I should have said “$200,000 to his current $800,000 making it an additional $1 mil to what they’ll need to sign everyone. So, Pengy, how the heck do they do all that AND qualify Rodrigues? There’s adjustments and then there’s pipedreams.

      • Ottawa😝

        Far too many people and fans think with the idea of what should happen. A goalie who seems to be one who is inconsistent and has injury history should be suspect. But wait! Two cups and in his mid twenties!?!? Nhl gms… until they prove otherwise… will validate that. Murray will have a relatively strong market. Not a great return for Pitt but I believe people on this site will be surprised by the return.

      • The Oil are a team that could take a chance at Murray but can’t afford him without another move.
        Buffalo maybe?
        I just don’t think you want to pay him $4M unless you get something else in the deal of value.
        Maybe you’re right Chrisms and somebody pays for performance from 2018/19 but I would try to get the Pens to eat some of that $.

      • Is there another example of a Gm overpaying for a goalie in recent history at all?

        I can’t think of any.

        I don’t think GMs are as excited about Murray’s 2 cups as Pens fans are hoping.
        He kinda walked into that situation…no?

        I think Gms for the most part have completely devalued that position. They are almost plug and play.

        I think at best Pittsburgh gets a 2nd. But given the injury history, inconsistent play, amount of other options and the Pens situation… id be shocked at anything more than a 3rd or low level prospect.

      • Minnesota Wild

  7. Leafs will use 1st round selection on goalie prospect Yaroslav Askarov. Use cap savings to trade or sign blue line help.

    • Askarov won’t last to the 15th pick. They could, however, use other commodities with that to trade up a few slots.

      • Agree with this If I’m Buffalo and he’s there at 8, I’m taking him.

  8. 7 comments in and no leaf fans have suggested TO is clearing space to sign Pietrangelo?

    • There’s a LOT more cap space that would need to be shed before they can even think about Pietrangelo.

      • True but it seems like leafs fans 1) believe you can buy a winner 2) think everyone want to sign there 3) don’t believe in gravity or other basic facts of life.

      • LOL – now THAT’S funny. Wish I had thought of that one!

      • Or more likely…

        4 why when non fans and experts like you two for example can talk about our team and crap thinking like that for us. It is entertaining in a dumb way.

      • Still looking for the layer of skin … as well as a clue … eh Ron?

        Instead of reacting to anything and everything critical of a team that hasn’t won a cup in 53 years nor a playoff series in 16 years, why don’t you try adding something useful?

      • LOL Like you have George0. The other day someone mention how irrelevant the Ottawa Sens are and you reacted typically like the thin skinned leafs fans you claimed they fans are. Repeatedly you dish it out but can’t take it. One day if you ever say anything relevant or correct regarding my team, I’ll give you the props you deserve but I’ll doubt you ever will.

      • No I did NOT react to someone saying how relevant the Ottawa Senators were … what I reacted to was a twit suggesting that a city is not a relevant NHL city – one whose major working force has been going through a monumental pay fiasco for going on 3 years. That’s part of your problem, Ron, you read wrong or conveniently take things out of context to support your own lame observations.

  9. I disliked the trade for Kadri a lot….one thing that tweaked my curiosity is that both trades the Calgary and Colorado involved a third centre and a D man with UFA status coming up…..I wondered if this signaled an that the Leafs wanted space for two D men this upcoming season…

    So this Leaf fan wonders whether this does have something to do with Pietrangelo…..

    Bob Mckenzie is credible and last year he had some subtle comments about Pietrangelo to Toronto….

    • To sign their RFAs, maybe UFA Clifford, and still be able to pursue Pietrangelo who’ll be in the $9 mil range, they’d have to virtually gut their team elsewhere. Not even Nyalnder alone will free up enough. Then there’s the problem of finding a trading partner who has the cap space to take on what they consider expendable. Ih he does all that, move over Houdini.

  10. YOU STUPID THING DUBAS! Kapenen is now on the pens. What a horrible trade! Kapenen is way better than Kerfoot, so why didn’t they trade him!?!

    Kyle Dubas should be fired. First, he trades Kadri for Barrie and Kerfoot. Turns out, Kerfoot and Barrie don’t help the Leafs at all!

    Now he trades Kapenen. Like serious dude! Use your brain!!!

    • Kap is just like Dan Pallie. Todd Marchant. Nail Yakapov. Blazing speed with hands like frying pans.

      Dubas did a good thing, Thad. Got a mid 1st back, (in a loaded draft) and cleared cap space.

      • And probably because you weren’t going to get a # 1 from ANYBODY for Kerfoot – assuming you could find anyone who wants him in the first place at $3.5 mil.

  11. Feels a little like a knee jerk reaction for Dubas. Why wouldn’t you wait until the playoffs are over and see if theres anything better. The return is “meh” ok. Did the leafs solve any of their biggest issues, defense for example…..not really. Did it reduce the cap, kinda. You have to hope and believe there is another shoe to drop. Is it Marner or Nylander….essentially.

    • You just gave a rationale for this early trade:
      Toronto cleared some cap space, they now have assets that could lead to further trades and/or they have potential roster options for next year.
      I think this is just the start of a busy offseason for most NHL teams. Should be fun.
      BTW, Kapanen might be a bit motivated by this move – Crosby, Malkin – wish him well.

      • Hi BC Leafs fan

        I’d put Kappy with Sid and Guentz

        They had Sheary there… Kappy bigger , faster, much more productive; 4 years younger; almost identical cap hit

  12. Are only the non-remaining playoff teams allowed to trade? Does that seem fair?

    • That’s always been the rule. Non-playoff clubs are allowed to make trades with each other during the postseason.

    • Just as fair as allowing a bunch of teams that likely wouldn’t have made the playoffs in the first place a chance to win the cup – and THEN give the ones that failed an equal shot at the # 1 pick

      • George O., please do not remind me again. It makes my blood boil. Some teams made out well, some got screwed, Bettman just smiled.

      • Kevin, to me the play in round was more about giving something back to the broadcasters. The NHL was never going to cancel the season, because that would mean repaying back a large chunk of change to Sportsnet, NBC, and other networks (think regional affiliates). And since the NHL shut down with a little over 10% of the regular season to play, they decided to throw the networks a bone. That’s the way I see it, at least….

  13. Late to the game

    Well oh well

    A six player swap (rare but me likes) plus pick with my 2 fav teams…. exciting 👍👍👍👍

    Basically Kappy and Auberg for Chi Chi’s son and 15th over-all (which Leafs I think will/should move…. window is now)

    Lindgren and Hollander are Long-shots for the NHL in the next 2 years (maybe ever)…. saw-off

    Warsofsky is a giveaway nightmare ; will harm Marlies but never be up with Leafs

    Aberg most likely WBS; some speed… emergency call up for depth

    So really ER and 15th (not likely NHL ready for 2-3 years; still a gamble ; but Leafs likely to use in another trade)

    For Kappy

    Leafs gain tenacious bottom 6 C/W with speed and grit ; save $1.2 M in space; and have an asset for another move

    Pens just replaced Sheary with a much bigger; faster; and 4 years younger; player with much better offence

    To me …. this is a win win deal

    Leafs still must improve D; and I still say the right move would have been WW for a 22-25 year old top 3 (or trending to) D man at a much lower cap; and under contract

    Pens still screwed on back end

    They could add a bunch of speedy high producing wingers and they are still nullified and a great deal more with the horrific JJ still on Pens

    Move Bjug for anything; BO JJ…. Riikola or P-O J or Czuczman in to replace JJ; Poulin up to fill Bjug’s spot… NET …about $6.6 M cash saved and over $4.5 M in Cap savings…. team faster; younger; a better by MASSIVE amounts

    Sign UFA Soucy a must

    I’d keep both MM and TJ (can move one at TDL or expose at Exp draft) because just one of them with DeSmith as back up is one injury or illness away from Larmi as backup…. no NHL games; more ECHL games than AHL… and save percentage quite low

    Sid/Guentz/Kappy (yes I’d play him here)
    Laff/WBS grad…. 13th/14th Fwds

    P-O J or Czuczman as 7th D

    MM & TJ

    …. and yes …. all fits into Cap

    Team faster; bigger; waaaay better than last year

    • Oh and younger

    • Pengy…Simon and ZAR need to go period neither can score……

      Who is Turbo?

      • Hi BbG

        ZAR paid marginally over League min and is a very good defensive player… great on PK… not really hired for scoring

        Simon also marginally over League min… worth it IMHO

        Turbo is Tanev

      • ZAR is a big body too. He played ok on that Blueger-ZAR-Tanev line.

    • It all fits into cap…. assuming you know the cost of Soucy as a UFA, Murray, Jarry and every other rfa combined on Pittsburgh.

      And because you’re getting rid of JJ, Bjustad in that process.

      I like it!!!!!

      Not sure how every GM in the league hasn’t figured out how to dump unwanted , undesirable contracts for better more productive contracts?

      You may be on to something here!

      • I forgot Hornqvist. He’s gone too I assume?

      • Yes all fits in

        Hadn’t forgot Horny … had listed the line by line math in another post

        The moves are all in control of Jimbo save for trade of Bjug or acquisition of Soucy

        Even Soucy up to $3.5 M (which he won’t get) gets them in under

        Bjug is reported to be starting next season on LTIR ; but even if he isn’t ; there has been media spec on him toWild… they need a C; they have room

        Model had JJ and (unfortunately cuz I do like him…. but 33 on decline and heavy contract) Horny bought out

        Owners have stated cost cutting

        It is nigh impossible to cut costs (athletes with higher contracts replaced by much lesser contracts… typically meaning weaker players) and simultaneously have team improvement (unless drafting low first round and immediately starting young star on ELC with subsequent BO of older over-valued/paid player). Most often this is higher priced player moved out; replaced by younger player with less experience and expected lesser production

        The miracle has come Pens way… cut costs; save cap; immediately make your team better by gargantuan amounts

        BO JJ; re-sign Riikola

        Net for Pens…$1.2 M cash savings; $1.3 M cap savings in EACH of next two years; team overall improves by massive amounts; every single remaining teammate’s status rise substantially

        ALL of that fully in Pens control… no dealing with other GMs

        The buyout of Horny is tougher in that he is well liked and still good on net presence on PP

        However $5.3 M for a 33 year old 3rd line winger (he is no longer 2nd liner caliber) is very expensive

        Just looking at the Kappy acquisition with a subsequent Horny BO… net $350 K Cap saved in EACH of next two years; $650 K net cash saved in 20/21; $1.2 M net cash saved in 21/22. 9 years younger; way way faster; Kappy stats already better than Horny’s; and Kappy in prime ; horning waning at 33

        Summary from all above

        Team faster; waaaay waaaaay better; younger; Cap saved; Cash saved (closing in on $1.7 M Net cap savings in EACH of next two years; close to $1.9 M net cash savings 20-21 and $2.3 M net cash savings 21-22

  14. Kanapen fills a Penguins’ need for a top wing.

    It is early to judge Hallander’s potential.

    Rodrigues is either an AHL player or a bottom line forward. He has not done much for either the Sabres and the Penguins.

    Warsofsky is an AHL player who has been called up to provide depth as needed.

    The Penguins should have additional trades planned to address positional needs, clear cap space, and restock the farm.

    • Hi Ice dragon

      The 4 other players are a saw off

      So it’s ER plus 15th overall for Kappy

      ER’s grit and speed in bottom six is good for Leafs

      Leafs gain $1.2 M in Cap; gritty bottom 6 CW; and 15th overall (to use in another trade) for Kappy who they kept moving him from line to line

      Kappy takes Sheary’s place… and he’s bigger; faster; 4 years younger and with much better numbers

      If you take into account Sheary and ER came for Kahun (who was was traded for Olli Maata)…. the trade technically ends up being

      Maata & 15th overall for Kappy

      Pens get 2 years younger; way faster; better; save 900 K in Cap; for the cost of 15th overall… who “may” play in the NHL in 3 years (past Pens window)

      Win win IMHO

      • PENGY… BNG here what gets me is why isn’t turbo who is fast, skilled, a good forechecker, and has a good shot not playing third line or higher”

        Hell he has the skill and speed to play in the top 6 or even with Sid…anything’s better than Simon, Hornqvist or Sheary there..

        We have too many guys like ZAR, Simon, and Sheary !!! Plus I”m not sure whose more fragile letang or ZAR….

        We need a third line center who is also good defensivley Eric Haula UFA 28 solid or maybe Max Domi.

        And for the love of god a top 4 lefthanded defenseman to go with Marino. Move Petterson to third pairing.

        i guess Jamie Oleksiak has been reborn in Dallas wow he is playing well..

      • Hi BnG

        Oleksiak was doing fine for Pens

        Waaaaaaaaaaay better then and now; compared to the horrific JJ…. 5 years younger; faster; massively bigger; cheaper

        Pettersson Is fine… 82 G pace of 28 points and +11

        … and don’t forget those handful of games where Sully had him playing with nightmare #3… take those out of the equation and Pettersson tracking for + 15

        With 7th as Czuczman or P-O J

        That D is massively better than last years

        Much younger; much much faster ; way cheaper

    • News flash. KAPANEN.IS.NOT.A.TOP.WING. unless you forgot to add a 9 before wing.

  15. Andersen is next.

  16. If the leafs package that first and nylander they may be able to get a return that solves all their problems

    • It might at that … but like I keep saying, cite ONE example where you think that could happen (since we’re all just speculating anyway) and we’ll debate from that point.

      • to Detroit Nylander & the 15th overall for their 3 2nd rd picks this year?

      • Yzerman’s too smart to give up a 3rd in a very deep draft – let alone 3 2nd round picks – to take on a one-dimensional $7 mil F who isn’t going to make them any better. It’s a re-build in Detroit – patiently through the draft – not a re-tool.

    • What goalie are they getting for nylander and a 1st? That is their biggest problem not a RHD. Andersen is this century’s Hardy Astrom.

      • 936 save percentage
        1.84 gaa
        And this is the guy you continue to blame, he has been carrying the blue line for years , he’s probably worn out . No goalie will thrive with your proposed status quo + rookies on D

  17. If you look at the teams Toronto talked to regarding Kap, it was obvious they were not getting the Dman they were inquiring about on each team. Settled for a 1st. Take it and run…..

  18. I was hoping they’d hang on to Kappy. But Dubas made out well on this one. It doesn’t help the glaring needs, but gives them an asset to barter with.
    That being said, the 1st only gives them a bit more wiggle room under the cap. Trading it won’t help the $$$ situation at all….unless…..

    TML – What would it cost to get Jones from you?
    CBJ – Um…Are you still drinking your blues away, Kyle?
    TML – It’s Shanny. I just fired Mr. Dubas. And yes….still drunk. And crying. Who else could I get if I’m offering Matthews and Nylander?
    CBJ – You’re REALLY drunk Kyle….let’s talk!

    To CBJ – Matthews & Nylander, conditional 2nd

    To TML – Jones, Jenner, Foudy, Elvis, Anderson

    • Puff puff, pass dude.