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Kingerski: Penguins Should Sign Letang, but Nuke the Blue Line

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Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins trade talk

In the fallout from another Pittsburgh Penguins postseason loss, this one probably more painful because it was undeserved but final nonetheless, the prime free agents have taken center stage. Shakespearean actors at the Globe Theater. Will the offseasons of Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin’s drama become a comedy to be laughed about later, a redemption, or a tragedy?

Bryan Rust and the Penguins met in the middle, and the gritty winger will stick around for up to six years but took a little less annual salary for the term.

Now comes Letang.

Dave Molinari looked at the paltry list of UFAs who may or may not be available this summer. It’s no bumper crop. If you’re buying futures, sell now. Read: The Penguins’ free-agent options

Bottom line, everyone has it backward regarding replacing Letang. The UFA market stinks. The objective should not be to replace Letang but to replace almost everyone else.

Kris Letang Contract

On breakup day, Letang reiterated a promise that he and Hextall made to each other to keep anything and everything out of the media. PHN was told the same from internal sources at multiple points in the season. “Don’t bother asking” was the basic message.

Sportsnet & Elliotte Friedman recently reported the Penguins and Letang were not only not on the same page but not in the same book. That’s as much as we reliably know.

If the Penguins are looking at the tiny crop of available RHDs and their options to round off their blue line if Letang departs, they’re going in the very wrong direction.

Aside from sketchy goaltending and special teams that did more harm than good, the Penguins still had the series in their grasp. They failed to put away the New York Rangers in part because of their defensemen.

No, the defensemen didn’t make ghastly mistakes (you can split hairs and ponder Marcus Pettersson not picking up his helmet in Game 7. I generally absolve him–stay with me, here).

Penguins Punchless Defense

The Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen eluded the New York forecheck, which crushed them in the regular season. The Penguins defensemen zipped through the neutral zone, especially Mike Matheson and a few times Mark Friedman. And the Penguins defensemen jumped into the play in the offensive zone to create scoring chances.

They did everything right.

Except they couldn’t score even if a Mite goalie distracted by a stack of comics was in the cage.

The Penguins defensemen, excluding Matheson and Letang, could have amassed 100 chances. The goals were not going to follow. Chad Ruhwedel, John Marino, Friedman, and Pettersson combined for a meager eight goals in the 82-game regular season.

Add Brian Dumoulin’s three tallies, and five of the Penguins’ seven regular defensemen accounted for fewer goals (11) than Brock McGinn (12).

With the Penguins’ style and activating defense, that’s not even close to good enough.

In the Round One series, the five defensemen had a respectable 21 scoring chances, including five high-danger whacks at Igor Shesterkin. Despite Shesterkin’s emerging humanity and crumbling invincibility, those five Penguins defensemen scored… one goal.

ONE.

Not surprisingly, the plucky Mark Friedman netted the goal. Friedman seems to be both the Penguins’ wild-card and wild-child. And we’re here for it.

So, why the worry about replacing Kris Letang?

The Penguins and GM Ron Hextall should face the music and sign Letang. Swallow hard, ask God’s forgiveness, light a cigarette, then back up the Brinks armored truck. If they don’t want to sign him for five years, pony up most of the cash over three and hope he compromises.

Call it “the reverse Rust.”

Perhaps Letang will compromise if the Penguins at least open the same book.

Mike Matheson has proved to be an excellent second-pair guy who can play first-pair minutes with a good partner. Matheson had 11 goals and 30 points this season. As importantly, he provided a speed boost and puck carrying ability to the blue line.

With a sub $5 million contract, he’s definitely a keeper.

For $1 million, Mark Friedman is also a definite keeper.

The rest?

They need defensemen capable of finishing a play when the puck is on their stick, at least a few times per season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a championship piece with Kris Letang. It’s the crop of others that are not carrying enough weight. Pettersson and Marino have weighty contracts. Both played solidly enough this season that a starving team could conceivably take advantage if they become available, provided the acquiring team doesn’t expect offense.

The Penguins appear headed for a retool from the top down, but they should purge their blue line, recoup the money for free agents, and retool from the bottom up.

Otherwise, the fifth act of the Shakespearean play could be watching the Penguins’ blue line falter and the team with it.

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Keith Yanda
Keith Yanda
4 months ago

If he takes a huge discount say a $1 mil or $1.5 mil a year sure, but not at 7, 8, or 9 mil a year, no way!!!

Ed Andrews
Ed Andrews
4 months ago
Reply to  Keith Yanda

why would he take such a huge discount, he can go to any other team and make more, he is at the 7-8 mil mark now i believe, and rumours said they offered a 3 15mil, which crosby said was disrespectful (not Letang) the truth here is if your going to get rid of the core then they need to get rid of all and do a rebuild (Malkin for JT Miller) (tang for Josi)

Bob
Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed Andrews

Good! Let him go! He’s collected 30 million the last 3 Seasons only playing on average a half season each so it’s time to give back!

John
John
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed Andrews

3 for 15 mil was for both Malkin and Letang. Surprised this has soany up votes. 15 mil for Letang would be an etremely hard pass

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed Andrews

Dude – no one is giving up a player like Josi for Leturnover. Kingerski is acting like the only way to get a legit right defenseman is through FA. Josi had 96pts and he’s almost 5yrs younger than Letang. If Letang was 31 I wouldn’t disagree with signing him to a 4 or 5 year deal. If someone is stupid enough to give him 5 or 6 years for big money go right ahead “poor business”. If he wants to stay he needs to take a 2yr deal worth 5 or 6mil and the 2nd year must be a team… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Mike
William Maloni
William Maloni
4 months ago

Dan–I agree 1,000%!!

Marc Badger
Marc Badger
4 months ago

this is what we all needed to hear. feels right, seems logical.

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

Dan,

this is a speculative article that i agree with. Don’t replace your BEST defenseman and keep the dead weight. Marino could be a valuable trade piece and Petterson could be serviceable for a team looking to get to the cap floor. I don’t like the buyout option. Period. Dumoulin had one subpar year but is still better than everyone else other than Letang.

To all the people who think Letang sucks, get a new glasses prescription.

Rich
Rich
4 months ago

I would do exactly that – move out 3 guys, some for salary reasons, picks or even more 1 for a different type of player on the back end. Not easy, not impossible.

Ed Andrews
Ed Andrews
4 months ago

This article is spot on, Tanger may be older but he is there best Dman, save for Freidman and Matheson and Dumo whom should be kept. Marino maybe but the rest need to be fixed. You know i would be ok if both Tang and Malkin were not performing but who are you going to get on defense or top 3 that can do what the do (JT miller, Klingberg or trochek) and time to use PO and the other if not then trade or get rid of them. i do need to also state the obvius, Sully needs to… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Ed Andrews
moe
moe
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed Andrews

MS is too lenient when it comes to forecheck, and yes trouba should have been dealt with on the ice to stop him from taking three of our top players and not getting penalised by the nhl or Pens

David
David
4 months ago

Keep Letang, Marino, and Dumo. You won’t dump any of those three and get someone that will make the team better. The other D guys are expendable, but MM might be worth keeping.

Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
4 months ago

I agree with your outcome if not the analysis. Scoring chances and points are not unimportant, but the mark of a blue liner is to play solid defense. And that has been lacking in most of the pairings this year. Yes, you can trade some D for O ( like Letang), but the Pens do not have any physicality in their pairings. Not goons, but defenders able to clear the net front, protect zone entries, and move the puck out of the D zone

Vince Gori
Vince Gori
4 months ago

I say keep Letang Matheson Friedman and Ruhwedel. Offer ther others for what you can get. POJ is not what they need, unless he puts some weight on. He is another featherweight to push around

Ryan Connell
Ryan Connell
4 months ago

The simple face is Letang is slower and gets burned defensively especially when trying to make a play of some type. He is to old to make up for any risky play he makes and fails at. He also doesn’t have a strong partner on the other pairings to make up for his constant risk taking as Dumoulin is not able to overcompensate for Letangs defense short comings anymore. Letang and his risk taking simply isn’t worth 7 million plus a year and no team is taking any of our other defense players without competition going with them. So yeah… Read more »

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
4 months ago

“Back up the Brinks armored truck”… LOL!… with what money? If they want to keep Letang, I’d be good with 3x$9… but where does it come from? Either dumping 42 (my preference… I’m tired of seeing an empty jersey skate around all season) or re-signing him at a ridiculously low cost… and… keeping Malkin for a few million less (although I’d prefer to not re-sign him)? Then… how are we supposed to remake the blue line? If a player doesn’t fit the team anymore… how do you move that player to another organization? Take Marcus… is someone going to just… Read more »

Aaron Bradley
Aaron Bradley
4 months ago

Yup! Must remove 2 of Pettersson, Dumo, and Marino. Ruhwedel is fine, if we had even one more relaible scoring defenseman it doesn’t have to be part of his job to score. Maybe POJ can bag half a dozen-plus goals in a full year.

X-Letang
Matheson-X
POJ-Ruhwedel
Friedman as 7th

Might be able to get Manson in the $5M range annually if we can trade 1-2 of the above three for late round picks.

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
4 months ago

Keep Matheson, Friedman, Ruhwedel, and Letang at a reasonable price! If Letang won’t sign 3 years at 8 million show him the door. Doumelin, Petterson, and Marino need to move on.

Jeremy Strickler
Jeremy Strickler
4 months ago

Agree about this. Sign Letang. Let Dumo play out his contract and see if he improves. Promote PO and DOC. Trade Kappy, petterson, the 1st and poulin for T J Miller. Or, sign Trochek. Don’t resign Geno (sadly) unless he’ll sign for $6 mm or less. Sign Rackell if he’ll sign for less than Rust. Or use the money to get heavier.

Jeremy Strickler
Jeremy Strickler
4 months ago

This rebuild can be done over 2 years. Dumo and Zucker take almost $10mm off the books next year. We can afford to sign another top level player.

Mike
4 months ago

Impossible to move Zucker right now unless the Penguins eat a large portion of his
contract which really defeats the purpose of trading him.

Jeremy Strickler
Jeremy Strickler
4 months ago

The story of the last couple years is the lack of young talent coming up and misallocating cap space and draft resources on mid level players. It’s not actually that the top guys aren’t good enough. They are. They lacked young energy and cheap contributions.

Vittorio
Vittorio
4 months ago

That falls on Sully. He doesn’t trust the WBS Guys even though guys like Zahorna, Angelo and POJ have gotten a solid amount of time on the main roster Sully is not “willing” to play those guys.

Paul
Paul
4 months ago

Actually, Matheson scored 20 goals last season — 11 for his team and nine for the other one. That he’ll be the No. 1 or No. 2 d-man on the roster next season shows how far this team is from championship caliber. Great athlete, limited hockey IQ and no stones.

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul
DaGama
DaGama
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

No stones? In the latter part of the season #5 was one of the few Pens who mixed it up after questionable hits.

Paul
Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  DaGama

Matheson plays tentatively if not downright scared in big games. He was petrified at Madison Square Garden in the postseason.

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul
Paul
Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Minus-3 in the four games at MSG.

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  DaGama

My feelings exactly – even though he’s not a fighter he was one of the first
guys to step in for a teammate after they were throttled by an opposing player. He also stepped up his game physically. He continues to improve and IMO
it would be a major mistake to deal him.

Paul
Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Never mind the rough stuff. He made lots of bad decisions with and without the puck. Saw no confidence and decisiveness whatsoever. In other words, he melted on the big stage.

Cal
Cal
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Haha, the 11 and 9 cracked me up. But I do think the team needs a few nuclear options (stones).

Paul
Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Cal

Yeah, and the three own goals went on Domingue’s postseason record. Otherwise, his numbers are a whole lot better — 3.08 (from 3.65) and .914 (from .898). Fake News seems to forget that.

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul
Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Dan, I dont think paul knows anything about competitive sports. Hes just a guy who hates on everything and everyone. Without actually reason. And thinks if this team doesn’t win the cup every year that they are awful and should trade everyone. Because winning is easy in 2k but not in real life there are 31 other teams trying to achieve the same goal. Winning the Stanley cup. Yes it looked easy in 2016 and 2017. But it was not. It was alot of losing tough playoff series for 2010-2015 lead up to those satisfying cup wins. We have been… Read more »

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Wow your a hater? And if your a life long fan that’s sad. Because after the dark ages of penguins hockey these guys deserve appreciation. All of your comments are nothing but criticism of everyone in the organization! Glad your not the GM. And how about appreciating and supporting the team and organization. This team has remained competitive for 16 straight years. And half the fan base wants a rebuild. Thinking were just going to draft a new crosby, malkin, and letang sorry the lottery doesn’t always work out that way. There is no guarantee we will build this dynasty… Read more »

Edgar
Edgar
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

They should have traded Malkin and Letang 3 years ago when you could have gotten a first round pick and a decent prospect for them. Honestly, I felt that way 3 years ago. And I love and appreciate both of them. But, we were done, and I would have loved to see Malkin make another run. Now, he’s done.
I can accept getting rid of Marino, Petterson, Zucker, and Dumolin. I don’t have those guys either. But, they cost too much.

Bob
Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Edgar

Malkin has only played a little more than 1 1/2 Seasons the past 3 Years with injuries. So let’s sign him 3 more years?

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Edgar

I dont think malkin is done. His play says otherwise considering he still produces at a point per game rate. As well as playing really well in the playoffs 3 goals 3 assist 6 points. And the time to make those trades has passed it’s over. So dismantling this team for a rebuild is ludicrous. You must not remember the rebuilding era of pens hockey. I do But since it was over 17 years ago the spoiled fan base does not remember. My opinion we just had a 100 pt season and one win away from the 2nd round. So… Read more »

Paul
Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

The league doesn’t hand out trophies for being competitive. It hands them out for Stanley Cups championships. That should be the goal. If it’s more about the past than the present and future, then the company wonks need to come clean before we invest any more time/money in the product.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Yeah with 32 teams the percentage to win the stanley cup has gone done for every team. You have to be competitive before you can compete for Stanley cups. You dont just start winning anything without competing and making the playoffs first. Can’t jump two steps ahead.

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

I don’t understand how folks think that another year on Geno, knee and all, is going to give us a higher probability of success in next year’s playoffs. I’d be happy if he improved his faceoffs and didn’t do dumb things to get suspended. To me, and to Dan K as well in one of the articles here, he doesn’t bring his A-game as often as he should and seems to rely on Sid. We’re up 3-1, Sid goes out and Malkin can’t lead the team to one victory in two games? Sign him if you want to keep making… Read more »

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Young

Malkin actually played great in the game 5 sid missed that loss was not his fault. And thats your opinion and speculation he doesn’t bring his A game and relies on sid. That’s so ridiculous to say you dont know him personally and to imply he doesnt care is a farse. Hes deserves appreciation for how well he played in the playoffs 3 goals 3 assist 6 points. But you think he didnt care? it’s all his fault LOL. And to Paul’s point and to yours. You have to be competitive before you can win anything. Making the playoffs is… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Phil
Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Jeff is right on concerning Malkin – he’s moody player meaning at times he’s full of piss & vinegar and a lot of times he’s putting on
a figure skating exhibition. His fly by’s in the neutral zone validate
his laziness defensively. If he would of played an entire season he
would of ended up a -20 some. It’s hard to score over a point a game
and end up a minus player. It’s time to part ways.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Another none factual statement. That’s all clear speculation. And vilification of a player who helped this team win 3 Stanley cups. His play against the NYR was great he put up solid numbers 3 goals 3 assists 6pts. But nothing is good enough for the spoiled fan base who stops at nothing to vilify 71 and 58 by making ridiculously dubious claims like malkin doesnt care! Its ridiculous to speculate on his demeanor because you see him on tv r in the stands lol try appreciating these guys. 16 straight playoff appearances and 3 Stanley cups! They deserve some appreciation.… Read more »

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

It that’s your take on Matheson then I know you definitely want to see Leturnover
leave town. Letang scored 40 goals – 10 for his team and 30 for the opposition.

Michael Koritko
Michael Koritko
4 months ago

Definitely agree with keeping Letang at all reasonable costs and moving at least one defenseman to alleviate cap issues. Marino is gonna be the most coveted but I wouldn’t move him. I think he has way more potential than the other big-ish contracts. Dumoulin and Pettersen would be the two guys I would look at moving — and probably just one of them. Mainly to make room for PO Joseph who in his first stint showed the offensive punch we were looking for and to open up some cap space. Way too much money in that blue line as it’s… Read more »

teamquebec
teamquebec
4 months ago

Not a word about how bad he plays in his zone?!?? It’s a winger who tries to play defense!!!! He costed at least 3 goals against New York because he was screening his own goalie! Even Tomas Holmstrom didn’t screened goalies better than that! He killed half of the Rangers PK almost by himself with his risky passes, slow decision making, blocked shots when the play was to pass, name it! They won without him in 2017, they lost BECAUSE of him in 2018 (ok and also in part because of Matt Murray…) and they didn’t win anything with him… Read more »

teamquebec
teamquebec
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

How can you say it’s not true?!?? Inbelievable!!! I can show you between 15-20 plays EVERY SINGLE GAME that a 7.25M “elite” Dman can’t make!!! You will tell me he didn’t made those plays???? Do you really know the game?? Or your pink glasses doesn’t give you a clear view of what’s happening on the ice??

teamquebec
teamquebec
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Also i guess the 17 goals against out of 28 and the own goalie screened goals are not true either??? 🤦

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  teamquebec

Totally agree – I been saying forever he screens his own goalies better than the opposition does. My son plays Junior Hockey and is an avid Penguin fan – he’s always telling me that many of the mistakes Letang makes are things coaches are correcting in Pee Wee leagues. He thinks Letang is talented but has way to many mental glitches / poor decisions with the puck and turns it over way to often in his own end. Also, I get tired of listening to Letang lump himself in with Crosby and Malkin to leverage himself for a big contract… Read more »

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Than throw up. You literally have just said if you played with malkin and Crosby you could get 50 pts I doubt it. lol Its ridiculous your hatred for kris letang. I watch you rationalize why you dislike him all over the comment section. This spoiled fan base is sad. Vilifying these players. Why not go root for another team? Anyone who thinks they can step on the ice and get 50 pts and do what kris letang does is delusional!!! I’m sorry to say that. But the comment is horrible.

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Dan it is true. Letang used to be able to gamble then cover his mistakes / aggressiveness but those days are gone – Every year he leads the team in giveaways and his ratio vs takeaways is horrible. Everyone cries about how he’s never won the Norris trophy – its for good reason. Also, he’s a good offensive player not a great one – put me on the ice/power play with Sid the kid and I believe I could score 50 or 60 points a year. If your going to bring him back it has to be with a team… Read more »

Paul
Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  teamquebec

Letang’s third period in Game 5 against the Capitals in the 2018 second round remains the single worst period I’ve ever seen by a veteran NHL d-man in a big game. Almost singlehandedly turned a 3-2 lead into a 6-3 defeat and pretty much gifted the Stanley Cup to the Caps. Was minus-2 in that game (Malkin was minus-4). Win that game, and their team quite possibly would have three-peated. #Hor-ri-ble

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul
teamquebec
teamquebec
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Thank you Paul! I think it might be better to exchange with you because it seems Dan doesn’t really see what’s happening on the ice…..

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Well if not for letang this team does not win the 2016 stanley cup his play was the driving force during the playoffs including game 6 clinching goal to win the Stanley cup. So if not for letang we dont get a chance to repeat or even have a chance to 3-peat. Got to win one before you can win 2 or 3.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  teamquebec

Wow you forgot that we won 2016 in big part because of the play of kris letang. Is so funny people seem to forget how masterful he was in the 2016 playoffs. And his goal clinched game 6 to win the 1st cup. Sorry but without kris letang that doesn’t happen. And 2017 that was an anomaly justin Schultz had a 50 pt season. And was playing great the whole blue line raised their game during those playoffs. But either way that team was rolling no matter what. So its ridiculous when anyone says won without him in 2017 and… Read more »

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

At the time, going with Murray over Fleury was the right choice given the circumstances. Even more obvious, with hindsight, is that it was the wrong move. I love watching 29 play today. And if FSG wants to sell tickets next year, after some players leave, getting 29 back would do it.

So would retiring 68. (I’m still smarting from that April 1st article. Well done Dan!)

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Young

Yes, But before matt murray. From 2012-2015 Fleury was the punching bag everyone blamed and couldn’t wait to run him out of town. And that now is the same for letang and malkin and its horrible and ridiculous. But I would like fleury to come back. Either way we need more depth in net. But this fan base has to stop vilifying it’s own players. Especially the star players. How people attack 58 and 71 is just pure hatred not even objective analysis. And that’s ridiculous.

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

You said it all when you referenced Schultz scoring 50pts – my sentiments exactly when it comes to Letang. 50 to 60pts should be automatic when playing with the likes of Malkin, Crosby, Guentzel etc….etc…..not to mention he’s on
the ice for 25 plus minutes per-game. He should be in the 80-90 pt range.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

That’s a ridiculous statement hes always in the 50 to 68 point range. You Say he should be in the 80 to 90 to justify why you think we should part with him. Is purely ridiculous and vilification of 58. Schultz only had 1 year like that. He was not a consistent point producer and not a top pairing guy. So the point is kris letang has been consistently a top pairing point producer his whole career. And to say well he should have more so hes not good. Is really just reaching. Try splitting hairs on that one.

Frank
Frank
4 months ago

The thoughts and speculation here are interesting but there really is one point. Nothing is going to go forward with the Penguins until they resolve what they are or are not going to do with Letang. If a team has a $7 or $8 million decision for one player they are essentially frozen until it is resolved. So who comes or goes, is signed or unsigned completely and solely depends on what they do with 58. And the team is not going to know anything more about that decision on June 1 than they do today. And I suspect their… Read more »

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank

It’d be a “classic” move to let Letang walk but sign Malkin.

Jeremy Ingland
Jeremy Ingland
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I have always had a love -hate relationship with 58 . He is getting older and slower , he does take risks that backfire more times then I’d like BUT he plays an awful lot of minutes and is still a premier player … always seemed to me he like he was a wing trapped in a defenseman s body.. as stated in all the posts today especially Franks …. Something drastic needs done , there is no point continuing getting bounced in the first round by teams that lack the talent of these penguins BUT make up for it… Read more »

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Ingland

I don’t totally disagree with your assessment of Letang but his minutes per game don’t really align with his production for a labeled offensive D-Man.

Really what does it do for the organization to keep Malkin and Letang except
for sentimental reasons. It basically locks the team into being mediocre for
the next 3-5 years with zero chance of contending for the Cup. Will we struggle
with the start of a rebuild “sure” but it’s time to start moving in the direction to
contend again in the near future.

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

And if 71 *and* 58 sign for three years, as long as Sid’s contract is for, imagine the state of the team when 87, 71 *and* 58 leave/retire. All at the same time. If folks here are up for that, good luck to us. I just think it’s time to look ahead to, basically, Sid’s (potentially) last three years. And I don’t think trying to ride it out with 71 and 58 is the way to go. Shrug. I’ve no problem with folks disagreeing, I just don’t get it. (And don’t look now, but 59 gets to UFA the final… Read more »

Greg
Greg
4 months ago

5 mil a year offered to both Letang and Malkin. Letang signs with the Leafs and they finally get past round one. Malkin with the Caps , his knee limbers up and he is the leading scorer on the second line. Karma working it’s mystics.

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg

Malkin should take the $5M, if offered. If he goes elsewhere, I wouldn’t be afraid of him. In fact, I’d find a way to agitate him.

If Letang signed with the leafs, I’d LOL. That’d be awesome! They screwed up signing Tavares to such a ridiculous contract so pay a ton to 58! He wouldn’t scare me there either. No way Leafs win a Cup anytime soon (who’s going to play goal?). Only worse cap team probably is SJ. Although MIN has it tough the next two years due to their buyouts.

Dobbs
Dobbs
4 months ago

This year, and the 2 previous years, I’ll say I agree with you, the problem for me is out of all the previous years of Letangs contract he was horribly over paid, and should have been a 4-5 mil guy. He respectively lost as many games as he had a hand in winning. It wasn’t until the last couple years that he actually started playing to his contract price and being a conscious, intelligent defenseman. Hence while he’s worth the money now, I’d say he should take quite a paycut for being grossly over paid for a large part of… Read more »

Forestx5
Forestx5
4 months ago

Letang has had a nice career. Let him go to a team who can pay him what he feels he is worth. Let him take Malkin, who has played in about 56% of Penguin games over the previous 3 years with him. Player development is the key to replacing veterans. Having room at the top is incentive for younger players to develop. Make room.

Chief
Chief
4 months ago

How ignorant.

John W
John W
4 months ago

Good discussion, I don’t agree with Letang at all costs. 3 x 7M, fine, even 4x7M but he is too much of a risk/reward player for more. He was #7 in D last year for overall points. +/- isn’t perfect but he was 32nd in the league, 116th in shooting percentage for D, 7th in shots, 8th in points per games for D with at least 20GP. The players ahead of him are fairly consistent – Makar, Hedman, Reilly, Carlson, Joss, Fox, Ekblad. He doesn’t deserve to be paid more than them, especially given that this was his career year… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick
4 months ago

Why would anyone give up more than a late pick contingent on if the player signs before the start of free agency? Teams certainly not giving up much for a ufa the can get for “nothing” if they wait.

Bob
Bob
4 months ago

Just about Anything is better than having a minor league team like the Pirates for years playing in National League.

Bob
Bob
4 months ago

Malkins been too fragile the last few years getting hurt too easily and not contributing toward his 10 million dollar yearly salary. Maybe if they sign him he can be labeled the new 6 Million dollar man. Remember the Show?