If there is one certainty every year in the case of Sidney Crosby, it is that he will find Jake Guentzel on his left. The right-wingers have, however, played the musical chair in recent seasons, but the arrival of Kasperi Kapanen could change things.
In acquiring the Toronto Maple Leafs on August 25 in a trade involving five other players, GM James Rutherford truly believes he has found the perfect skater to complete his first line.
“[Crosby] has a really good chemistry with Guentzel, which should continue, but we need a right winger that it will work with and we hope Kapanen is that player, the 71-year-old revealed in an interview on Saturday with NHL Network Radio.
“With Kapanen’s speed and puck chasing flair and the fact that Sid can find him in the open spaces, that should be a good mix, but that remains to be seen.”
The main interested party had also said he was ready to take up the challenge of playing, and especially producing offensively, whether on a trio with Crosby or Malkin.
“It is an honor to me that they think I can fill one of these two positions. I would play with one of the two best hockey players in the world, Kapanen said. I want to be good. I want to make it to training camp and show everyone that I’m not here to mess around. ”
The Finn has shown he can be a big part of the offense for a National Hockey League (NHL) team over the past two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, amassing 44 and 36 points. in 78 and 69 games respectively.
The arrival of Kapanen could give the Penguins some stability. Even though Bryan Rust is the one who has had the most opportunities in the last few years, Dominik Simon, Jared McCann, Jason Zucker, Alex Galchenyuk and Zach Aston-Reese are a handful of the players who have had the chance to show off with the number 87.
It remains to be seen now when the next Bettman Tour season kicks off and whether the Pennsylvania roster’s captain will be able to stay healthy, after missing 28 games last season with a muscle tear in his stomach. abdomen. He also had an operation on his wrist in August, but nothing that will prevent him from jumping on the ice for the next campaign.
“He feels good,” Rutherford added. He had a little procedure after the playoffs and took care of something that had been bothering him for a long time and he feels great. He’s excited. He wants to put on his skates every day and play. ”