Penguins reacquire F Kapanen from Maple Leafs

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The retooling of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ roster has begun.

The team acquired forward Kasperi Kapanen from Toronto on Tuesday, reuniting the 24-year-old with the team that originally drafted him with the 22nd overall pick in 2014.

The Maple Leafs sent Kapanen, well-traveled forward Pontus Aberg and defensive prospect Jesper Lindgren to the Penguins for Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in this year’s draft as well as forward Evan Rodrigues, defenseman David Warsofsky and Swedish forward Filip Hallander.

Kapanen returns to Pittsburgh after being shipped to Toronto during the 2015 offseason as part of a deal that sent star forward Phil Kessel to the Penguins. Kapanen became a regular for the Maple Leafs during the 2017-18 season. He scored 13 goals to go with 23 assists for Toronto during the 2019-20 season and chipped in two assists during a qualifying round loss to Columbus.

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Pittsburgh is in the midst of a shakeup after getting ousted in the qualifying round by underdog Montreal. The Penguins opted not to retain three of coach Mike Sullivan’s longtime assistants, and general manager Jim Rutherford expressed frustration at how meekly his team played over its final four periods against the Canadiens.

With the core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang all at least 33, Kapanen’s arrival gives the Penguins some fresh legs to work with as they try to keep the championship window open.

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