Forward Kasperi Kapanen will join the Blues this weekend.
I was not surprised to see that the Blues were part of a league transaction this Saturday afternoon. I was a little surprised to see that that transaction was an addition, not a subtraction. They had claimed winger Kasperi Kapanen off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
I figured that the next move the Blues would make was trading forward Ivan Barbashev to a contender. The trades of Tarasenko and O’Reilly/Acciari came about a week apart, and it’s been a week since O’Reilly departed. But no, the Blues added a piece for the rest of the season, and for next season, too.
Kasperi Kapanen is a somewhat seasoned winger with some scoring ability. He has 172 points in 364 career NHL games. His best season was with the 2018-19 Toronto Maple Leafs, in which he scored 20 goals and 44 points. This season, he 7 goals and 20 points in 43 games. He will most likely play in the Blues’ next game Tuesday, against the Seattle Kraken.
This addition makes sense when you consider that the Blues are likely to deal Ivan Barbashev before or at the trade deadline. The forward group is already thin, being without Tarasenko, O’Reilly and Acciari. They’re also without Neighbours for a while due to an injury.
The Blues went into today’s game against the Penguins with these lines:
The fourth line has 2 players because they dressed a 7th defenseman. So you can see they are quite thin in the bottom six. The NHL-caliber depth they have is already with the team – that would be Josh Leivo and Tyler Pitlick. They are especially thin at center now.
I like the addition. Kapanen is by accounts a speedy player, and every team can use that. A change of scenery may benefit him. We will see what he can give the Blues for the remaining games of the season. He should help the scoring ability of the 2nd and 3rd lines.
Kasperi’s father, by the way, is former NHL-er Sami Kapanen.