#Rumblings started coming out just before noon that the Penguins and Leafs were finalizing a deal to send Kapanen back to the Penguins in exchange for their first round pick, #15 this year.
Kapanen had a down year where he wasn’t very strong offensively and was pretty poor defensively, a stark contrast from his previous year. Via HockeyViz.com, we can get a snapshot.
If there’s some upside to latch onto, it comes here:
But across 202 NHL games, Kapanen has registered just 41 goals and 49 assists, which included 14 goals and 20 assists at 5v5 two seasons ago and 10 goals and 17 assists at 5v5 last season, but the price of a first round pick for what is effectively a good third liner making $3.2M against the cap over the next two seasons seems like…a lot for a player that doesn’t fix the problems the Penguins have.
Including the #15 overall in what is supposed to be one of the best and deepest drafts in the last decade without moving out the likes of Jack Johnson feels like very poor asset management. Including Hallander on top of it feels like just burning assets for the sake of burning assets.
So, in essence, Rutherford gave up his 2nd-4th best prospect in the system (depending on which Prospect Guy you like), Evan Rodrigues (who is effectively the same as Kapanen right now), and the 15th overall pick for Kasperi Kapenen and nothing else.
The offseason is very far from over, but it’s hard to see how the Penguins got better today than they were yesterday.
That is, unless Kapanen goes on to vulture 60+ points with Crosby and Guentzel.