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Letang Blunt On COVID-19: This Thing’s Not Going Anywhere

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang had some interesting, if sobering, thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic in light of new restrictions announced Saturday by the NHL as the virus wreaks havoc on the league — as well as other sports, and, well, the world.

While many are predicting or concerned that the NHL will shut down its season, at least temporarily, Letang isn’t so sure that will mitigate the spread.

“I don’t know,” Letang said after practice Saturday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex before the Penguins flew to New Jersey for a game Sunday against the Devils. “If we shut down now … this thing’s not going anywhere. It’s going to be part of our lives.

“I don’t know what’s the right decision to make. … I’m just saying it’s tough to know what to think when you clearly know it’s going to be around for a very long time.”

Letang, who is the Penguins’ NHL Players Association rep, noted that the new restrictions are a return to what was in place last season — daily testing, masking up everywhere, holding virtual or very well spaced meetings, players being barred from doing non-hockey activities outside the hotel on the road.

Most recently, the Penguins were being tested every three days.

Letang is one of several Penguins players who had COVID-19 with symptoms earlier this season. Team captain Sidney Crosby and coach Mike Sullivan were among the others. The Penguins have so far escaped the most recent outbreak around the league.

The NHL and NHLPA, in joint statements Saturday, said the added restrictions are in response the emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus and the increase in positive tests. Seemingly by the hour more NHL players and coaches are being added to the COVID-19 protocol, and there have been postponements of games.

Letang said talk among the players centers on “health and safety being the most important things.”

Sullivan added that “we’ll follow (the league’s) lead” in trying to deal with the virus.

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Holy moly, the common cold hasn’t killed over 700,000 Americans in the last year and a half, a you absolute potato. Also China is not a true Communist nation, the “American leftists” you deride are probably just liberals as a true leftist would punch you in the mouth for being ignorant.

Ethan
Ethan
1 month ago

Dude did you take a puck to the head?

Patrick
Patrick
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan

Unfortunately, your comments are polarized and not reasoned. Taking Covid seriously doesn’t make you a leftist. You can believe the sensationalism on one side of political aisle is unhealthy and ‘over-the-top’, but still understand there are doctors and scientists that present valid information and respect their input. Covid could be mild for a number of people, but it can be extreme for others. A family friend had her husband in the hospital for close to 40 days due to Covid – that’s not a common cold. And it’s not some conspiracy. The NHL shouldn’t shut down, but they should take… Read more »

Ethan
Ethan
1 month ago
Reply to  Patrick

Thanks Patrick for the well-reasoned response. Not sure he’ll get the message though, for as his name suggests, he may have two wheels where his ears are supposed to be as well as a few gears slipping in the box!

Dan Kingerski
Admin
Dan Kingerski(@dkingerski)
1 month ago
Reply to  Patrick

You should probably update your facts before picking fights with everyone.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Here we go…

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

I attended a funeral today of a loved one who died of COVID. Your ignorance is saddening.

Axel
Axel
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Go Pens!

Alex*
Alex*
1 month ago

you’re the only one trying to scare anybody here and it doesn’t sound like you’re on the left

Seriously?
Seriously?
1 month ago

Pausing made sense when we had no vaccines or therapeutics, but now we do. If you’re not vaccinated, that’s your own fault. This was always going to be endemic and seasonal and we have to learn to live with it. We can’t shut down the entire world every time someone gets sick. Enough is enough.

Also notice all the American teams who had to have M*A*S*H* rosters during outbreaks, but suddenly it affects the Canadians and they have to go crying to Daddy Bettman? Get outta here with that crap.

Axel
Axel
1 month ago
Reply to  Seriously?

(Comment deleted by PHN due to vaccine misinformation)

Last edited 1 month ago by Axel
Axel
Axel
1 month ago

DeSantis touts monoclonal antibody drug, calls other state’s COVID policies ‘insanity!

Axel
Axel
1 month ago

Great News if it is true that The NHL will boycott the Communist Chinese Winter Olympic Games! Let’s concentrate on the NHL and our Penguins. May God Bless and Merry Christmas 🎄

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