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Strike Two: Kapanen Reveals Reason He Was Scratched

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet has revealed why Kasperi Kapanen was scratched from the lineup on Saturday. Does this mean anything?

There’s been plenty of coverage regarding Kasperi Kapanen’s being scratched from the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup on Saturday. And, with his name in the rumor mill, the timing had people scratching their heads (pun intended).

Following the game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday head coach Sheldon Keefe shared that the decision to pull Kapanen was made that morning and he was being scratched due to “internal accountability”, which then got people talking about how much Kapanen might be in the doghouse with his coach.

Insiders suggested Monday would provide some answers as Kapanen would be available to the media and that’s exactly what happened. The assumption he was late for something, Sportsnet’s NHL insider Chris Johnston indicated that he was scratched on Saturday because he overslept for Friday’s practice and was late as a result.

Related: The Latest on The Leafs and Kasperi Kapanen

In hockey circles this is a pretty big no-no but in Kapanen’s case, it’s a bit more problematic because he admitted he’d done this before under his current coach when they were together in the AHL.

Considering Keefe now has a history with Kapanen of this type of lateness, the coach felt it important to send a message as this is now strike two.

Will there be a strike three? Or, can we put this story to bed and all move on? That may not be so easy considering Kapanen is still very much a player media believe may get moved at the deadline. And, if he does, unfortunately, this incident might be stapled to the move forever. It’s not ideal the way stuff like this works, but if Kapanen is traded in the next two weeks, plenty of insiders will look back at this and suggest there were problems that led to the Maple Leafs willingness to move a very skilled forward.

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