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Talks Delayed, Letang Camp Hopes to Begin Serious Negotiations Soon

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Kris Letang

There was a lot of conjecture, speculation, and parsing of words after Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall’s Thursday press conference and his answers regarding the future statuses of the Penguins championship core players Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

Both are UFAs after this season, and neither yet have a contract to extend their Penguins careers.

Hextall seemingly gave some cryptic hints, which launched rampant speculation.

“You know, we’d like to sign some of our UFAs. We have a hard salary cap, so they’re going to have to work with us,” Hextall began. “And, you know, certain players, if they want the most money, they’re probably going to go elsewhere. But I think you can say that about every team. So we’re hoping that our guys are comfortable here, which I believe they are, and hopefully, we can find a deal that satisfies both sides.”

To whom was Hetall tangentially referring about going elsewhere?

“We’ve had discussions with both guys. Certainly, they’re a top priority for us. We have a limited amount of cap space to squeeze everybody in, but that’s certainly our goal. Negotiations have been fine, and we’ll continue on,” Hextall said.

One matter has delayed Letang’s contract negotiations. Last week, his agent Kent Hughes was hired as the new Montreal Canadiens GM.

Letang’s new agent Phil Lecavalier also works for the Quartexx Agency, so continuity won’t be an issue. Still, Lecavalier confirmed to Pittsburgh Hockey Now that he and Letang are looking forward to beginning the process in earnest.

Lecavalier spoke with PHN to quell some of the rampant speculation that sprung from Thursday. Lecavalier struck an optimistic tone.

“In the next couple of weeks, I look forward to getting on the phone with Ron (Hextall) and Alec (Schall),” he said.

Schall is the Penguins Director of Hockey Operations.

Sources also informed Pittsburgh Hockey Now that Hughes and the Penguins had preliminary talks in later summer, but talks remained preliminary. Serious negotiations have yet to occur.

The Penguins jammed schedule has delayed matters, too. Agents loathe distracting clients with business matters on game days.

Kris Letang, 34, has been one of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ best players this season. He has 38 points (5-33-38) in 39 games, making him the sixth highest-scoring defenseman.

The current crop of pending right-handed defensemen who could handle top-pairing minutes is currently thin. The list includes only Letang and Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg. There is a steep drop in potential UFAs after that.

Hextall stated in the press conference that he doesn’t like to negotiate in public. That was a sentiment shared by Lecavalier. The two also agree on Letang’s desire to stay with the Penguins. From there, perhaps both sides will find out if that goal is feasible.

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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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moe
moe
10 months ago

Give Kris Letang a decent contract as he is a Vezina candidate again this year with a point a game performance and unlimited minutes per game workhorse.
There are many good defensemen in the league, but there’s only one Letang.

James E Loeffert
James E Loeffert
10 months ago
Reply to  moe

I think you meant ‘Norris’ candidate, & yes, he’s a “one of a kind” player, putting a huge emphasis on getting the puck back & creating offense. He wants a little ‘more’ than the Pens can afford without insulting Malkin/ his agent… They’ve been amazing in balancing $$$, egos, everything it takes to remain a ‘top tier’ hockey club.

Andy
Andy
10 months ago
Reply to  moe

If he wins the Vezina, Jarry will be very angry 😉

Ryan
Ryan
10 months ago
Reply to  moe

He’s never come close to winning the vezina or the Norris..:with reason.

trackback

[…] Speaking of the Montreal Canadiens and potential UFAs they may be interested in, Montreal native and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang could also enter the UFA market in July. However, as our man in Pitt, Dan Kingerski reports, Letang and the Pens are set to begin contract talks in earnest soon. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now) […]

James E Loeffert
James E Loeffert
10 months ago

I really thought with the comments #58 made saying he believes & is proud to have helped build something in Pittsburgh that’s special, he’d be open to a club-friendly discount. I don’t blame any player for getting the maximum they can though. He’s “that guy”, who, you simply don’t ‘replace’ 100%.

Andy
Andy
10 months ago

What a Director of Hockey Operations does?

Kris
Kris
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy

Manages the contracts and the salary cap amongst other things. He’s the money guy basically.

Kris
Kris
10 months ago

Who plays right wing for Sid if we keep Letang AND Malkin? Need to call Rutherford now and see how we can get JT Miller for Kapanen. Might involve draft picks, but are we still in win now mode? With Miller you can then let Geno walk after this season and pay Rust, Letang, Rodrigues and others as Miller to Malkin difference is $4,250,000 extra cash. So 22-23 looks like:
Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Zucker- Miller – Rodrigues
Heinen – Carter – O’Connor/Zohorna
AstonReese – Blueger – McGinn

trackback

[…] *The Pittsburgh Penguins and Kris Letang have not really kicked off serious negotiations on a new contract and it remains to be seen when that’s going to happen. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now) […]

Ryan
Ryan
10 months ago

His brain is in full meltdown mode (again) on the ice…I’m good “waiting” this one out 👍🏻

trackback

[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now is reporting that with Kent Hughes now gone, Phil Lecavalier will be taking over as Letang’s agent and said he is looking forward to starting talks with the Penguins about a new deal. There have been preliminary discussions, but nothing serious. […]

trackback

[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now is reporting that with Kent Hughes now gone, Phil Lecavalier will be taking over as Letang’s agent and said he is looking forward to starting talks with the Penguins about a new deal. There have been preliminary discussions, but nothing serious. […]

trackback

[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Phil Lecavalier will probably be taking on for Kent Hughes as Kris Letang’s agent. Lecavalier stated they’re wanting ahead to getting talks going with the Pittsburgh Penguins […]

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[…] agent Kent Hughes recently taking the general manager position with the Montreal Canadiens, Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now has reported extensions talks with the Penguins will now be handled by Phil Lecavalier. While this […]

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[…] agent Kent Hughes recently taking the general manager position with the Montreal Canadiens, Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now has reported extensions talks with the Penguins will now be handled by Phil Lecavalier. While this […]

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[…] agent Kent Hughes just lately taking the final supervisor place with the Montreal Canadiens, Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now has reported extensions talks with the Penguins will now be dealt with by Phil Lecavalier. Whereas […]

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[…] agent Kent Hughes recently taking the general manager position with the Montreal Canadiens, Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now has reported extensions talks with the Penguins will now be handled by Phil Lecavalier. While this […]