Kasperi Kapanen was an unexpected healthy scratch for the Maple Leafs’ clash with the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, and on Monday morning we learned why.
Kasperi Kapanen says he was scratched Saturday because he overslept and was late for Friday's practice. He added that it was something he did previously in the AHL.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 3, 2020
So a trade involving Kapanen wasn’t imminent, as many were speculating at the time of the move, the dude just slept through his alarm clock and was late for practice — and it apparently wasn’t the first time.
Kapanen and Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe spoke to reporters on Monday morning, with both echoing similar sentiments: It’s happened before, and it needed to be fixed — now.
Kapanen said he overslept and that’s why he was late. Said there were instances with Marlies where he’d been late for practices too. Doesn’t feel this will hurt his standing with organization though.— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 3, 2020
Keefe said “we’re a pretty forgiving place,” but with Kapanen there was a pattern that needed correction. He said he had no recollection of similar incidents in the AHL, which leads you to believe the rap sheet, or whatever, is carrying over from the previous regime.— Justin Cuthbert (@jccuthbert) February 3, 2020
Leafs captain John Tavares — publicly, at least — is downplaying the situation, telling reporters on Monday:
'(It) can get blown out of proportion; I think it was just an honest mistake. I don't think he's trying to come in and be unprofessional. You get to this point in the season and sometimes you forget what day it is. He feels bad about it. Just an honest mistake," according to Yahoo Sports’ Justin Cuthbert.
It looks as though both player and team will try to put this behind them quickly, with Kapanen set to return to the lineup on Monday versus the Florida Panthers.
Kappy has 10 goals and 18 helpers for 28 points in 52 games this season. His name continues to be floated in trade rumours as the February 24th deadline looms.
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