The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to lay down the groundwork on a contract extension with Kasperi Kapanen as talks began earlier this week.
Negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Kasperi Kapanen‘s camp were reportedly slated to begin ahead of the trade deadline, with both sides meeting before Thursday night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Toronto has the difficult task of signing Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson and Mitch Marner this offseason. Luckily, general manager Kyle Dubas alleviated some of the pressure by agreeing to a long-term deal with Auston Matthews ahead of time.
Kapanen has been rumoured as a player who could be used to fetch a top right-handed defenceman – something the Leafs have been pursuing since this past summer. Assuming that he’s not moved ahead of Monday’s trade deadline, Toronto will be looking to ink Kapanen to a new deal as soon as possible.
"“I can tell you Markus Lehto – who’s Kasperi Kapanen’s agent – is in Toronto and he’s meeting with Kyle Dubas prior to the game,” TSN’s Darren Dreger said on “The Hockey Bobcast.”“Now, I don’t expect that anybody should expect any sort of revelation to come out of that meeting. It’s an initial introductory style meeting where (they say) ‘Alright, well what are you guys thinking? Are you thinking about a bridge? Are you thinking multi-year extension? What are you thinking?’ I think it’s just building the parameters but maybe it takes a different tone.”"
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Kapanen was one of the main pieces that came to Toronto in exchange for Phil Kessel in 2015. He played nine games over his first two seasons in the Leafs organization. In 2017, he scored his first NHL goal against his former team – the Pittsburgh Penguins – in the game that helped the Leafs capture their first postseason berth since 2012-13.
In the first-round series against the Washington Capitals, Kapanen scored the biggest goal of his career, potting the game-winner in double overtime of Game 2.
Do you think negotiations between Kapanen and the Leafs can get done sooner rather than later? What do you think his contract could look like? Let us know in the comments below.