General Manager Jim Rutherford claimed that he wasn’t going to trade any of his core players but there is some speculation now that Kris Letang has told teammates he expects to be traded this offseason or some time next season. Truth be told, this isn’t the worst thing in the world for the Pittsburgh Penguins and this doesn’t signal the end of an ERA.
Does everyone forget that they won a Stanley Cup Title without him during the 2017 season where his season ended in February due to an injury? He could arguably be the most overrated defenseman all time and it seems as if the defense is worse with him.
Letang disappears in the postseason and the only good postseason he ever had was in 2016, when they won it all against the San Jose Sharks in six games. I know everyone wants to blame Jack Johnson for this bad defense, however, Johnson isn’t hold to a higher standard like Kris Letang is though.
In 61 games played this past season, he scored 15 goals and recorded 29 assists. His plus/minus rating was even.
In 808 career regular season games, Kris Letang has scored 127 goals and has recorded 410 assists. His plus/minus was 61.
In four postseason games, he scored zero goals and recorded zero assists. His plus/minus was -2.
In 136 career playoff games, Letang has scored 21 goals and recorded 59 assists. His plus/minus was 5.
This is going to be the end for him in Pittsburgh. He only has two years remaining on his contract. He will be owed $7.5 million for the next two seasons. The two to three teams that he could be traded too is the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Montreal Canadiens.
Is it possible that goalie Matt Murray gets traded with him as well or will they trade them separately? I think it will be in separate deals though. It is very possible they trade Kris Letang in the offseason. I think they would become a better hockey team on the blueline overnight. John Marino and Brian Dumoulin would be the top pairing on defense if that was the case.
They don’t pinch like Letang does and he should just play forward at this point. If he isn’t traded. he would be exposed in the Seattle Kracken expansion draft next summer though. Todd Reidren and Mike Vellucci are the new assistant coaches on this team after Sergei Gonchar, Jacques Martin, and Mark Recchi were let go as assistant coaches for Mike Sullivan’s bunch though.
If they trade Kris Letang this offseason, it could signal the start of a rebuild despite being in win now mode with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin back. They better get a first-round pick and/or a second-round pick in return, along with a player than contribute to the team right away now with the Pittsburgh Penguins though.
Speaking of draft picks, Letang was the 62nd overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft (third-round selection) and that was the same year where Sidney Crosby was selected number one overall out of the QMHJL with the Rimouski Oceanic though. Kris Letang is 33 years old and he isn’t getting younger though.