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Pens, Bylsma reflect on Letang situation

Feb 7, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

Dan Bylsma AP

The news of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang suffering a stroke last week shocked the hockey world.

While he’ll miss at least the next six weeks after going on blood thinners and receiving further treatment, the timeline how everything happened leading up to his diagnosis is fascinating. Sam Kasan at the Penguins’ site pieced it together.

Letang first felt dizziness and nausea on Jan. 29 while the Pens were in Los Angeles and didn’t skate with the team. He hit the ice for the optional skate the next morning but was told by team doctors to not play.

On Feb. 1 in Phoenix, doctors told Letang they believed he suffered a stroke and he was sent back to Pittsburgh to undergo tests. For three days he was looked at and on Feb. 6, yesterday, they concluded he did indeed have a stroke.

Coach Dan Bylsma spoke about what’s next for the Pens defenseman.

“We’ve had some different conversations with Kris about just his overall health, what he is going through and the last few days have gotten a little bit better grasp on where he is at,” Bylsma said today in Pittsburgh. “They’re not a lot to do with the power play or how he’s bringing the puck up the ice. More over just concern for Kris the person and his health and where he’s at, not even in his career, just where he’s at in a health standpoint.

“And the six weeks, he’s I believe on blood thinners until the six-week mark and then going to be re-evaluated. He’ll be monitored I guess the whole time, but I don’t know if there’s a series of steps. I don’t think there’s a one, two, three that he has to go through during the six-week period of time. He’ll be back here in Pittsburgh at that time and hopefully move on to something different after those six weeks.”

It’s a terrifying situation and to have such a problem like this come up seemingly out of the blue adds a bit more fear to it.

Letang was sent home early for Olympic break to recover and, hopefully, see his health improve.

  1. Tyler - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Health before hockey. Get well soon, Kris.

  2. killerpgh - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Wow! I wasn’t expecting to open up Prohockeytalk and read a story like this. I guess the good news is they figured out what is wrong with him. Hope to see him able to fully recover and rejoin the Penguins at some point when the Doc’s say he is ready, but private life/family life comes first.

  3. sjsharks66 - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    He needs to spend time with his wife and kid. Focus on his heath and then when everything gets better, come back to the game. Not until he is 100% healthy.

  4. broadstreetbeatdown - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Geeze, hate hearing about this kind of thing happen to anyone let alone a young NHL star like Letang. Speedy and full recovery to him.

  5. chanceoffleury - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    As crazy as this has all seemed, it’s actually not that surprising the more I think about it. Letang has had migraine problems for as long as I can remember. He’s constantly missing practices and morning skates because of them. I imagine that has to be connected to this bigger picture in some way. Hopefully now that this is being monitored much more closely it will improve his overall health and well being both on the ice and off. I hope he gets well quickly. Selfishly I know he’d be a heck of a pickup right before a playoff run!

  6. dtownbeatdown - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    This reminds me of what happened with Jiri Fischer years ago. I wish Letang the best, being that young that is definitely a scary situation. Hope to see him on the ice again.

  7. s2mikey - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Geesh, makes ya wonder just how random and hereditary many illnesses really are? This stuff seems to happen to the least likely people more often that you’d expect.

  8. LampyB - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    For the love of god and fantasy hockey, when will they place him on IR!?!?

  9. hockeyfan763 - Feb 8, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Wishing Kris a speedy recovery. Get healthy then focus on hockey. It will be there when you are ready.

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