Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs, eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs weeks ago, became the biggest story in the hockey world when they traded winger Kasperi Kapanen, and others, to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Kapanen was a big part of the return the Maple Leafs got for trading Phil Kessel back in the summer of 2015. The team they acquired Kapanen from? The Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded away several players that day: Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon, and a 2016 2nd round pick (Kasper Bjorkqvist). The Maple Leafs have never asked for any of these players back from the Penguins.
Phil Kessel was traded to the Arizona Coyotes for Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre-Oliver Joseph (and Galchenyuk is now with the Minnesota Wild, one of three pieces sent in exchange for Jason Zucker including the Penguins 2021 first round pick), Tyler Biggs is retired, Tim Erixon is in Sweden, and Kasper Bjorkqvist is also a minor leaguer.
The Maple Leafs got five prime years of Kasperi Kapanen out of this trade and they used the first round pick they got from the Penguins to bring in Frederik Andersen. Nick Spaling would be traded away for picks that got used in the Andersen trade and to draft Sean Durzi who got us Jake Muzzin. There was also Scott Harrington and a pick used on JD Greenway, but that’s trade filler and doesn’t help my point.
My point is, this trade is now Jason Zucker in exchange for Frederik Andersen, Jake Muzzin, and pick #15 in the 2020 draft - and I can add that #15 is seven spots HIGHER than where the Penguins originally drafted Kapanen (22nd overall, 2014 draft). Even if it was just the pick for Kappy, this is a loss.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are finally winners this summer.
Now, the news.
We wrote a whole bunch of stuff about this trade right away, because it’s all we have and we’re going to milk every last drop of the news.
And we’re not the only ones to do so:
Sending Kapanen back to Pittsburgh made me think of something I wrote years ago, about actually renting players to other teams.
Kyle Dubas spoke about the deal:
️Hear from GM Kyle Dubas on today's trade with Pittsburgh. #LeafsForeverhttps://t.co/ShzFI6BjKX— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 25, 2020
There’s a tiny bit of news out there, but everything else that comes up when I google “NHL News” is all about Kapanen. Really makes you think about whats the most important thing in the NHL right now.
I really respect the Leafs whenever they do trades after they've been eliminated from the playoffs, but before the Stanley Cup is awarded. It's such a great power move to remind the hockey world that Leafs roster moves can grab more attention than the championship.— james mcleod (@jamespmcleod) August 25, 2020
The NHL spoke about the start of the next season, which is...sometime in the future.
John Tortorella got fined, because he’s a dick.
Have a good one y’all.
More like Kapseri Kapanout, amirite?— Adam (@ElSeldo) August 25, 2020