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Penguins GM Ron Hextall Expects More from Kasperi Kapanen Next Season

The Pittsburgh Penguins forward knows he had a disappointing season.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins have plenty of free agency decisions that need to be made in the summer of 2022.

The front office already got the ball rolling with a new contract for forward Bryan Rust, but there are still multiple key free agents that require new deals.

Upcoming restricted free agent Kasperi Kapanen is one of those players.

To keep things simple, Kapanen was a disappointment during the 2021-22 season; In 79 games, he scored 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points.

Those numbers are far below what was expected of him for a year he was expected to become a breakout star.

The poor play from Kapanen forced many to suggest that he should be traded out of Pittsburgh at the deadline.

In his end of season press conference, Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said everyone expects more from Kapanen next season.

On the surface, it seems like Kapanen will remain in Pittsburgh for at least another season.

Being an upcoming RFA, the Penguins have to make some sort of qualifying offer to Kapanen.

Given the dreadful season he just turned in, the Penguins should be able to re-sign Kapanen at a discount.

With Hextall’s verbiage of “next season,” he and the organization plan on bringing the Finnish forward back for at least another year.

If Kapanen does return, he will have to outperform what he did in 2021-22.

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