The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Kasperi Kapanen in their first real trade during the revamping of the organization in 2015, when the franchise traded their top player to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel to the Penguins in an eight piece deal which essentially worked out as Kessel for Kapanen and a first round pick.
Kapanen would get his first taste of the NHL that first year in Toronto when he joined several rookies getting called up at the end of the season, however he was unable to record a point in nine games.
Unlike many of the other rookies, the Finnish forward spent the majority of the 2016-17 season in the minors as he dressed for just eight games during the regular season. Somehow, Kapanen found a role on the playoff roster and had the biggest goal for the franchise in over a decade as he collected the overtime winning goal in Game 2 of the Washington Capitals series.
Kapanen would battle to stay on the Toronto Maple Leafs the next season, but by 2018-19 he became a 20-goal scorer and a top level penalty killer. That upcoming summer, Kapanen earned a three-year extension worth $3.2 Million per season.
After just one-year completed in his three-year contract and the salary cap not moving, Kyle Dubas had to trade Kapanen to free up some cap space.
In what was the only cap relief related trade that the franchise got anything worthwhile in return. In the deal, Dubas was able to acquire a first round pick, as well as one of the Penguins top prospects in Filip Hallander.
The first round pick was used to draft Rodion Amirov who sadly passed away this past summer after a battle with cancer. Hallander would later be used in a trade in deal that had him go back to the Penguins for Jared McCann.
Kapanen would play out his contract scoring 22-goals in 119 games and earned an additional two-year contract from Pittsburgh for the identical $3.2 Million per season deal he made with the Maple Leafs. However, after a half season under his new deal he was placed on waivers and claimed by the St. Louis Blues where he has one more year left on that contract.
With the Blues, Kapanen finished out the season with eight goals in 23 games to finish with his second 15-goal season of his career.