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SIGNED! Kris Letang Will Remain with the Pittsburgh Penguins

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Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins trade talk

Perhaps the most dramatic free-agent negotiations east of Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames, the Pittsburgh Penguins have locked down their all-time highest-scoring defenseman and veteran of 16 Penguins seasons, Kris Letang.

Letang, 35, has been there for three Stanley Cups, too.

Ron Hextall said Wednesday that a deal was close.

Thursday, Letang accepted a six-year deal worth $36.6 million, which works out to a salary-cap hit of $6.1 million. The Penguins will have about $15.3 million salary-cap space remaining, according to PuckPedia.com.

“Kris epitomizes what it means to be a Pittsburgh Penguin,” said Hextall. “The role he plays on our team is irreplaceable, he is a leader in our locker room, and has made countless contributions to the organization over the last 15-plus years, which includes three Stanley Cup Championships. We are thrilled to make him a Penguin for life.”

Last season, Letang was again among the leading defenseman scorers in the NHL. He had 10 goals and 68 points in 78 games. He also finished seventh in Norris Trophy voting, the third time in the past four years that he finished in the top 10

It’s been a noisy month or so for Letang, and the first time the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman reached this point of an offseason without a contract. In 2021-22, he completed an eight-year contract with a $7.25 million average annual value.

PHN asked Letang in March if the lack of a new contract was weighing on him.

“That noise been in my ear for eight years, so it doesn’t really matter. You know, at the end of the day, I’m like, 34 years old. I’ve been through those things. It doesn’t really bother me anymore,” Letang laughed. “Whatever happens, happens. You know, it’s out of my control for right now … That’s it.”

A source told PHN on Tuesday the team has felt a deal would get done and that it was a matter of term, not dollars. Letang said several times during the season he wants to play until he’s 40. He even laughed with Montreal media (in French) that he’d like to play until he’s 45.

The other Penguins stalwart, Evgeni Malkin, remains unsigned.

After laughing that he’s “kind of a rich guy,” in January, Malkin bristled at accepting a lowball offer on breakup day in May.

“I know I’m still a good player,” he said.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Ujn Hunter
1 month ago

35 years old… 6 years… wow. I love the cap hit… but… wow.

hockeyfan68
hockeyfan68
1 month ago

That’s great and only a 6.1 million cap hit. That’s 1million plus lower than last year. Way to go Hexi and Tanger!

bdgr
bdgr
1 month ago
Reply to  hockeyfan68

i cannot say i envisioned a 6x for Tanger. Wild development! awesome to see our boy at 6 million.

DaGama
DaGama
1 month ago

When can an 87 extension be expected? Is a small cap relief possible there?

DaGama
DaGama
1 month ago
Reply to  DaGama

My questions are offered in an extremely positive light. At least six more years of Sid would be awesome.

bdgr
bdgr
1 month ago
Reply to  DaGama

don’t worry yet peeps. three years of hockey ahead. And it is Sid. cmon.

Ujermaikan
Ujermaikan
1 month ago
Reply to  DaGama

I’m pretty sure Sid can’t start negotiating an extension for another 2 years.

Penguinfan
Penguinfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Ujermaikan

I’m just guessing Sid will finish his career in Pittsburgh… Unless he leaves Raymond Bourque style (traded during last year) he’ll be a Penguin 4 life (and if he wins one more cup or comes close I’ll cheer ’em on)

Penguinfan
Penguinfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Penguinfan

Don’t care if he wins with Pens or not… I’ll be happy if he wins in last year

Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
1 month ago

My Goodness! I cant even imagine what the opening offer was. Even if there is a buyout in the last two years, it is a huge value. Leaves plenty of space for the rest of the team

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

The Pens will be in a rebuilding mode years 4-6 of the contract and probably closer to the cap floor than the ceiling. The next 3 years are what is important, and this gives Hextall some extra money in the short term.

charmaine
charmaine
1 month ago

great news for the Penguins on many levels……this fan is glad that Kris Letang will retire a Penguin

Curt Lindner
Curt Lindner
1 month ago

Great news! Tanger and Hextall are to be commended! This was DEFINATELY A TEAM FRIENDLY CONTRACT! YOU JUST DON’T FIND “D” MEN LIKE LETANG EVERY DAY. I am hoping for another tough gritty “D” man to protect Sid from the Trouba’s of the world. I FEEL THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT NEED FOR THE ENTIRE TEAM!

bdgr
bdgr
1 month ago
Reply to  Curt Lindner

lessss gooo

Cal
Cal
1 month ago

My initial reaction was great at 6.1 but to puke at 6 years. I’m going to give this time to digest…(wink)

Dave Heyl
1 month ago

Is there a no trade clause included?

Ujn Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Heyl

No movement through the first 4 years then a limited no trade (list can be submitted) final 2 years. breakdown is like 8mil 8mil 6.2mil 4.8mil 4.8mil 4.8mil

bdgr
bdgr
1 month ago
Reply to  Ujn Hunter

Thank you, Ujn. and thank you hextal and #58.

Shocked
Shocked
1 month ago

6 more years of sloppy passes, misplayed pucks, and defensive lapses. I appreciate all he and Malkin have done but it’s time to turn the page. This team peaked a long time ago. The playoff performances just keep getting more embarrassing for this group

Phil
Phil
1 month ago
Reply to  Shocked

Than you must not be watching the same team the rest of us watch. They performed great in the playoffs if not for injuries we beat the NYR. So you can take the hate for 58 somewhere else. This team had 103 pts. And if not for goalie injuries and crosby,dumo,rakell injuries we easily move on to the 2nd round. We agree with one thing the comments of hate towards this team get more embarrassing every time!

bdgr
bdgr
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

it’s okay; he probably wanted Klingberg and to trade Marino.

Clyde Jones
Clyde Jones
1 month ago

They won the last cup without him. Is there anyone out there who’s cheaper to take his place.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Clyde Jones

The difference then was that the defense was deeper at that point. He is far and away their best defenseman at the moment. Almost everyone else on D is mediocre. They need to find a way to upgrade everyone else. Dumo also needs to bounce back.

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