The post Blues Claim Kasperi Kapanen Off Waivers From Penguins appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

The St. Louis Blues announced on Saturday afternoon that they have claimed forward Kasperi Kapanen off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. A team that was just called out for the work effort of their stars is going to give a player with a ton of upside, but a reputation for not being a consistent threat a chance to prove himself in St. Louis.

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Kapanen, 26, signed a two-year, $6.4 million extension with the Penguins this past summer, but has struggled to produce in 2022-23 with just seven goals and 20 points through 43 games. He and head coach Mike Sullivan have never seemed to click, as he has mainly played in a bottom-six role in each of the past two seasons while spending plenty of time out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.

Kasperi Kapanen is a Blue. #stlblues

— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) February 25, 2023

While his $3.2 million cap hit isn’t ideal, this claim makes sense for the Blues who have already begun selling off assets such as Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly ahead of the trade deadline. They will now get a chance to view Kapanen for the remainder of the season, and will likely keep him around for the 2023-24 campaign as well if he impresses head coach Craig Berube and the rest of the Blues staff.

As mentioned, Kapanen has struggled in 2022-23, but he has shown in past seasons how talented he can be when at his best. The best season of his career came with the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 2018-19 when he scored 20 goals and 44 points in 78 games, though in 2020-21 he was on pace to record even better numbers with 11 goals and 30 points in just 40 outings in what was his first season with the Penguins. If he can get back to producing at a similar rate, the Blues will be thrilled with their free acquisition.

While playoffs are likely now out of the picture for Kapanen given that the Blues are 13 points out of a spot at this time, this is a true chance to resurrect his career. As mentioned, he is joining a team who has already sold off some assets, meaning he will likely be given a good opportunity in a top-six role for the remainder of the season. If he runs with it, a similar opportunity should come his way with the Blues in 2023-24 as well.

Next: Penguins Place Kapanen on Waivers, Coach Wants Chychrun

The post Blues Claim Kasperi Kapanen Off Waivers From Penguins appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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