Could the front office of the Pittsburgh Penguins be regretting one of their biggest offseason decisions already?
The Penguins have played 13 games of the 2022-23 season and it already looks like a certain forward is back in the dog house.
Last season in 79 games played, Kasperi Kapanen scored 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points; a pretty far cry from where he was a season prior with 30 points in 40 games.
The few games missed by Kapanen in 2021-22 where not from injury, though as head coach Mike Sullivan was forced to healthy scratch the forward due to his poor performances.
Despite healthy scratches and a loss of confidence, the Penguins front office rewarded Kapanen with a two-year contract worth $3.2 million annually.
General manager Ron Hextall showed his confidence in Kapanen with that contract, but Sullivan might not have that same feeling anymore.
Kapanen was healthy scratched for the game against the Washington Capitals where the Penguins snapped a seven-game losing streak.
The Penguins traveled north of the boarder and during practice ahead of taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kapanen wasn’t taking reps with the forwards.
Kapanen skated as a fourth defensive line with Chad Ruhwedel, all but guaranteeing he is going to be scratched for the second straight game.
In 12 games played this season Kapanen has one goal and four assists for five points.
Through his last seven, however, Kapanen has been completely held from the scoresheet with no points and reached a rating of -7.
For the second straight year it looks like Kapanen is going to struggle to produce; with any luck, he’ll learn from the scratches and bring a new level to his game when/if he returns.
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