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Shero: Penguins not looking to trade Letang…yet

Jun 29, 2013, 7:06 PM EDT

Kris Letang AP

Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang has reportedly already rejected an eight-year, $54 million deal from the Penguins. Pittsburgh then turned down Letang’s proposal that would have come with a cap hit north of $7.5 million annually.

All the same, Penguins GM Ray Shero is still attempting to re-sign the 26-year-old blueliner.

“There is a time to make a deal, time to sign a contract, agree on a contract or not agree on a contract,” Shero said, according to NHL.com. “There is a point in the negotiation where you have to make a decision. Kris is going to have to make one and so am I.

“Both sides have to make some decisions. We’ll go from there.”

Letang still has one-year left on his contract and Shero might trade him this summer for the right price, but for now he’s not ready to shop the offensive defenseman.

“I can’t try to sign a guy and try to trade him at the same time. I’m going to try to sign him,” Shero said. “I’ve had a couple teams inquire. They read the paper. They ask to keep them in mind. I haven’t explored any of that. I don’t think that’s productive at this point. Our goal is to sign him.”

  1. ciarram84 - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    not worth it. 1/10 of the total team cap hit is too much
    7.5 mil per year way too much
    hope shero works some trade magic.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      I’d rather have 5 or 6 difference makers making big money with role players making 1 to 2 million on 1 or 2 year deals than 20 average to above average players.

      12 Brandon Sutter style forwards and 6 Matt Niskanenstyle d-men won’t win you any cups.

      I hope Shero signs Letang and moves 32 yr old/5million a year Paul Martin. Great power play quarterback but dosn’t present any physical element to make it tough on opposing forwards. Waste of money.

      • stakex - Jun 29, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        That is simply wrong.

        Top heavy teams don’t win Cups… they get embarrassed in the playoffs because their bargain basement 3rd/4th and patch work defenses can’t stack up in a seven game series against a good team. Just look at the Pens against Boston this year. It wasn’t a fluke… Boston was a well rounded team, and once they shut down the Pens top line it was game over. The Pens simply couldn’t compete with the depth Boston had.

        Teams like Boston, Chicago, and LA are dangerous because they are deep. They have some top players obviously, but they don’t spend so much money on the top of their rosters that the bottom is AHL quality. The Pens problem is they have over spent on top players, and will have to penny pinch for 2/3 of their roster. That 2/3 is an important part of the roster too since they will spend more time on the ice then those cap munching super stars.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:05 AM

        Stakex,

        The Bruins got as far as they did because their goaltender got hot at the right time.

        But just for arguments sake lets break down the amount of money given to the top 7 skaters (4 highest paid forwards and 3 highest paid d men) highest paid players on each of final four teams in this years playoffs.

        CHI – 38.6 million
        PIT – 38.4 million
        BOS – 35.51 million
        LA – 34.9 million (I even excluded Slava Voynov’s new cap #)

        The Pens aren’t are almost mirror images of the other conference finalists. Don’t believe me?! Go look for yourself on capgeek.com.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:42 AM

        @stakex, 11 of Chicago’s forwards had cap hits under $1 million. They had an unreal number of rookies and 3rd/4th liners at close to league minimum contracts putting up huge numbers. Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles’ starting goaltenders were all signed at *ridiculously* low cap hits when you consider their production and the fact they were easily the 3 difference makers night in and night out on all 3 teams.

        It’s easy to say Crosby and Malkin crapped the bed and to point all the fingers at them. But where was Iginla and Morrow and Jokinen and Fleury and Niskanen? Certainly not trying to pick up the slack and make things happen.That’s for sure. Those guys weren’t shut down. They just sucked and it’s that simple. They just added to the headache instead of trying to help fix it. When Toews’ tap ran dry, Bickell stepped it up and made the difference. When the Bruins needed a shakeup, Krug came in and lit a fire. You need these accessory guys that play out of their minds and way above their contract expectations to win a cup. But the problem is, you can never really guess who those guys are going to be unless they’ve already done it. And if they already have done it, they probably aren’t signed for table scrap contracts. Whether people want to admit it or not, winning the Cup takes a good amount of luck in accessory guys playing like Cristal on a natty light budget. It’s nothing to ignore, either; every team that’s ever won the Cup in the salary cap era had them.

  2. letsgopens8771 - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    PLEASE GET RID OF HIM NOW!!!! He is all offense and no defense, turns it over, and gives up tons of odd man breaks. He makes me want to pull my hair out when i watch him and his flowing locks try to catch up to guys like Marchand who get breakaway opportunities to. I would try to send him for Florida where he won’t be a threat and won’t sniff the Playoffs. Tallon, take Letang, give me the 2nd overall pick and Shawn Matthias (we need grit). I’ll use that to get me Seth Jones. If not I hear, SJ and DET are circling the wagons but the problem is, both teams don’t have high draft picks. DETs guys are a bit too risky, and I don’t think Ken Holland would give up any of those guys easily. The only possible deal I see with SJ is Letang for ME Vlasic and Adam Burish. The common theme is: Gritty forwards and defensive defensemen. That is what we need. That’s the only way you beat teams like Boston.

    • mrpinkca - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      As a Sharks fan, I would love to fleece Shero and get Letang for Vlasic and Burish; unfortunately Letang would need to settle for a lot less to fit under the cap in San Jose.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Teams won’t even trade top-5 picks in exchange for three 1sts… is Letang worth more than that? Plus Matthias? The answer is no, as you clearly outlined his serious faults. You’re overvaluing him significantly if you think you’ll get the 2nd pick in this deep draft plus another roster player. Letang has high value in a league where defenders are at a premium, but not that high. Although I’m sure Shero will shoot for the stars.

  3. pdmjr - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Don’t worry Pens fans, they will make a deal. Not that far apart I am hearing by tomorrow

  4. malkinrulez - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Vlassic and Burish for Letang ? U gotta be kidding , SJ will have to do better than that

  5. illashell - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    He’s not nearly as bad defensively as people make him out to be. With that being said, he’s just asking for too much.

    It’s been said 1,000 times already this week, but it really is Staal all over again.

    On Letang:

    “That doesn’t mean if we don’t agree on a contract that he’s getting traded. There’s no guarantee. Maybe you need a little break to see where it takes you. I can’t try to sign a guy and try to trade him at the same time. I’m going to try to sign him. I’ve had a couple teams inquire, they read the paper. They ask to keep them in mind. I haven’t explored any of that. I don’t think that’s productive at this point. Our goal is to sign him.”

    On Staal, 2 days before the trade:

    “People read the newspapers and so maybe they think he’s available, that stuff is all speculation. I have made it clear to every team that has asked. I don’t want to trade Jordan. I’m not listening to offers. I want Jordan here. I want him here for a long time, and that’s what I’m going to try to do. You can’t have it both ways.I can’t try to negotiate a contract with Jordan and a trade with another team at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. We don’t want to trade Jordan. We think we can sign him.”

    Sounds pretty damn similar to me.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:21 AM

      Letang played some of the best defense of any defender I saw in the post season during that Bruins series. The problem is he didn’t start doing it until after he (and Niskanen) collectively turned the puck over and cost the Pens a goal early in Game 3! BUT AFTER THAT, ya know, after it didn’t even matter anymore, then he was a superstar. It was like when you furiously brush your teeth right before you go to the dentist to try to make up for lost time. Brush all you want Kris, it’s just too late. The cavities had already set in.

  6. ironman721 - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Trade him. Pens have a stock pile of defensive talent waiting for the call up. Defenseman who actually play defense.

  7. steelers88 - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    That’s what Shero said about Staal last year. There is really no reason to keep Letang the Penguins have a lot of defensive prospects in the system.

  8. whiskytango333 - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Letang at nearly 8 million or get two very servicable top 6 defensemen at 4 million. This is an easy choice. Pittsburgh doesnt lack offense, but they need RESPONSIBLE puck moving defensemen in the same mold as Paul Martin.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Martin is an overpaid, 32 yr old cream puff of a d-man. He’s not part of the core. He should be expendable.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:27 AM

        Hello. Sorry you missed the 2013 season. Hockey’s back. Chicago’s great, Philly’s bad. New divisions. Toronto’s back. So is Ovi. Montreal was for a little while but then no. Crosby has new teeth. Karlsson has new achilles. Getzlaf and Perry are worth $8+ million dollars a year. Bobrovsky= Tretiak reborn. Bryan Bickell-good. Corey Crawford- good. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane- still not good at growing mustaches, but still good at winning Stanley Cups. Ryan Miller still hates the Sabres. John Tortorella still hates everyone. But now from Vancouver. Speaking of the Canucks, Luongo is still one. Tim Thomas is still Tim Thomas. Iggy is a Bruin, oh wait, nope he’s a Penguin. Bruins beat? assault? defile? the Penguins. The world laughs. Chanceoffleury cries herself to sleep for 3 weeks straight. Corey Crawford gets very drunk. Moms with small children don’t approve. PK Subban wins Norris. Defenseman who play defense don’t approve. St. Louis and Jagr have still got it. Brad Richards is still trying to remember where he left it. Kadri, Rask, Voracek, and Stepan found it. Lecavalier is not a Bolt anymore. Bryz and Briere are not Flyers anymore. Malkin is Penguin for 8 more years. Letang is Penguin for 8 more hours. Campbell tough. Bergeron tougher. Need more Hossa.

        phew! I think that sums most of it up.

        Martin would have been in Norris talks had he stayed healthy. He was on par for 32 points this year. He put on weight and bulked up in the offseason and totally turned his game around and made me take back everything bad I said about him last year. There were often times when he looked better than Letang on the Pens top PP unit. He, imo, was their best defenseman this year. He brought a lot of offense while still playing the defensive part very well. He was well worth his $5 million cap hit this year.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        Martin was in the Norris Conversation for 7 weeks. Considering it was a shortened season after two very bad ones, whether he was hurt or insane or depressed..etc…. doesn’t matter to me.

        At 32 Martin does not justify his 5 million salary when the pens can go invest 3 million of it in a d-man like Rob Scuderi……….Because I’m pretty sure we’re all in a agreement that a defensive d-man would benefit the Pens. My issue is that I’m not willing to give a 26 yr old Norris trophy canidate to go get that guy when there is an overpaid 32 yr old on the roster that can be moved.

        BTW, in your summary you missed the part Paul Maclean became coach of the year. C’mon man you’re better than that…..:)

  9. LampyB - Jun 29, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Should trade him for draft picks. They can plug the gap for a lot less money with solid defenseman, and let the potent offense do the scoring. If Pitt wants a future they need to start farming more young talent. It’s clear money won’t buy a cup, yet farm development will. Look at the Wings, Hawks, Bruins as GREAT examples. Core group of veterans, and the youngsters you bet on will do the rest in time. Gotta have a solid farm system, and this takes time so they need draft picks now to cover their asses.

  10. eagles512 - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    I think that’s an overpay and he turned it down.

  11. kingsforever - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    He’s overrated. I’m sure Sherp will trade him

  12. gallyhatch - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    chanceoffleury has become my favorite commenter on this website.

    Keep up the good work man.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      For the record I’m a girl, but thank you! :)

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