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Letang’s agent denies his clients’ interest in Leafs

Jun 27, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Kris Letang AP

A report surfaced yesterday claiming that Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, 26, is “uneasy” about his status within the franchise. Furthermore, if he ends up getting traded, he’d like to head to Toronto.

Cue the denial.

“We haven’t discussed the Toronto Maple Leafs. Period,” Letang’s agent, Kent Hughes told TSN’s Bob McKenzie. “Our focus has been on trying to conclude a deal with Pittsburgh.”

Additionally, if the Penguins do shop him, Letang doesn’t have any preferred teams, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie.

Letang has one season remaining on his current deal, which comes with a $3.5 million annual cap hit. It’s been speculated that Letang is seeking roughly double that given what Ryan Suter and Shea Weber got last summer. While the offensive defenseman might earn that kind of money on the open market, it’s hard to see the Penguins working that salary under the cap ceiling.

Pittsburgh has shown a willingness in the past to trade a player with time to spare if they’re not confident about their chances of re-signing them before they become an unrestricted free agent. That’s what they did with Jordan Staal after their attempts to lock him to a long-term extension.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    He’s just not worth it for me. Sure a new deal would kick in after this season but its not smart. Paul Martin was probably the best D on the team last season. Letang is just too much of a liability on the blue line. He’s replaceable with the prospects that we have in the minors. I say we trade him before or during the draft in order to get back into the first round that’s my prediction.

    • bcsteele - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      I agre with you. While I still don’t like the Suter and Weber contracts for what it does to their teams (especially poor Nashville), Letang is not at the same level as either one of those guys.

  2. jtowme - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Agreed…Almost have to trade Letang. We do have tons of prospects that can move up. He turns the puck over way too much. That’s a problem for a D-man because most of the time there’s no one is back to cover him. How many times has he sent the puck through the slot or turned it over at the blue line? My personal feeling is that, not only is he a hit against the cap, but he is also a liability on the ice. Just my opinion.

  3. steelers88 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I would actually like this trade with the Leafs. The Leafs play Letang’s type of hockey run and gun it would fit Letang’s style perfectly plus the Leafs have a lot of young skilled forwards which the Penguins need. A trade would make sense for both sides.

  4. jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    the writing’s on the wall, just like it was with jordan last year. i understood staal going and fully expected it to happen. it was for a different reason though, this time with letang its strictly $$ the penguins just dont have. jordan wanted to play more minutes and carolina wanted the brothers together and were willing to pay for it. pens werent willing to overpay staal to lure him to stay when they knew they couldnt give him the minutes he wanted. the pens cant justify overpaying letang when they have replacements waiting in the wings for soooo much cheaper and they need his cap space and the return he will bring in the form of replacing draft picks they dumped while trading for iginla and murray. it makes way too much business sense to trade letang rather than retain him.

    • hockey412 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      I just hope they do it this year, and get the draft pick (if there’s one involved) this year. I hate watching guys play out a season they know they won’t finish with that club.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        worst case scenario they wait until the trade deadline next season where the price would still be decent. even then i doubt the pens would sell him before making another playoff run if he’s playing well. i hope it doesnt happen that way at all and hopefully he gets dealt on trade day so the pens can get a decent crack at someone in the draft this year.

    • whammy71 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      I hope you realized that Staal had the 2nd highest minutes per game of all Pittsburgh fowards in 2011-12.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        because he killed penalties and played on the second pp unit most of his time in pittsburgh. he wanted 1st line duties, not 3rd. he wanted 1st unit pp minutes not 2nd. he was in the shadow of two other bonafide 1st line centers who were mostly injured in 11-12. he got the minutes because of injury and i’m sure he didnt relish the idea of going back to 3rd line duty for who knows how many years if he signed an extension – it wasnt going to last forever for him no matter how you look at it.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        That’s only because Crosby was hurt. When they are all healthy he would have ALWAYS been the third line center. There is just never a time where he would have the skill set to be the Pens 2C if Crosby and Malkin are healthy. Staal and Letang are both great guys and great players, but sometimes the most difficult choice and the right choice are the same choice. They are franchise players that fans love, but that’s the benefit of the salary cap era for other teams: homegrown talent can only be kept around until the rest of the league wants a piece of the pie and are willing to pay more money for it.

  5. bryz22 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    He’s technially a defenseman thats it ; he play’s like a winger and is one of the best cheapshot artist and whiner in th NHL…..

    • hockey412 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Who’d he cheapshot? And when did he whine?

      He was a Norris Trophy finalist….so I’m interested in the specifics.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        The Norris no longer means what it once did. It now just goes the the defenseman who fails to play D but scores goals

      • hockey412 - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Actually Letang didn’t score many goals, but I agree with you on the fact that offense is rewarded. Letang isn’t as much of a defensive liability as he seemed to be in the playoffs (but he didn’t play well, defensively, that’s for sure). But, all that is far from my point – being offensively minded is a far cry from being a whining cheap shot artist. Normally whining cheap shot artists aren’t respected enough to be a finalist for the Norris. And I wish Subban hadn’t won the Norris or my point might actually be credible.

    • drone501 - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      your acting like the real bryz idiot

  6. malkinrulez - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Letang gets traded during the draft and Pens recoup first round pick( unless like Kunitz he lowers his $ demands).

  7. burgh916 - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    I hate waiting haha, I’m really wanting to see what we get out of this. Do you think we do a package deal? Letang/Fleury for a high-end roster player + a first round? (Free up cap space) I doubt it, but it’s a possibility. I just want this mess done with and some fresh faces on this team, we need it.

  8. desertfan - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    FLYERS!!

  9. quips007quips007 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    You people are crazy…the Penguins will miss Letang immensely……He is a one of a kind player……You just don’t give them away….they will be sorry….he is irreplacable……..You people just don’t know hockey…If they thing Despres will replace him….sadly mistaken…..They give Kunitz 3.5 a year…now thats a mistake……and if they give Dupris 4 a year…….another mistake………34 years old…letang is a kid…

    • pdmjr - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      They have no one to replace his minutes, and puck handling ability. He does a lot for the Pens and when he’s not there they stink. 36 mil over 6 yrs is a fair deal for both. If he wants more than he can wait until after next season.

  10. whammy71 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    My sources are telling me that Shero has offered Letang 2 contracts:

    1. 8 years @ $50 million (does NOT have a no movement clause)
    2. 6 years @ $36 million, including a no movement clause

    Letang and his agent have yet to accept or reject either of these proposals and the 2 sides continue to talk.

    1975

    • pdmjr - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      They can wait a as long as they need to get a deal done, there is no rush

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