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Video: Letang practices, says his goal is to return this season

Mar 17, 2014, 3:07 PM EDT

That was Penguins defenseman Kris Letang answering questions today after practicing with his teammates for the first time since suffering a stroke in January.

Letang said he felt “pretty good” on the ice, and there’s “no doubt” that his intention is to play again this season. At this point, though, he’s not sure when exactly he’ll be able to make his return to a Pens lineup that’s gone 7-5-2 without him.

Pittsburgh has 15 games left in the regular season. Its last contest is Apr. 13 versus Ottawa, and then come the playoffs.

  1. lowenni - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Good for him. Glad to see he’s healthy and skating again, and setting goals for himself. That being said, he and the team have to take into account the severity of a stroke and the damage it can potentially do to his life if it occurs again. This is not just a broken bone or a concussion. Either way, I hope he makes the right choice and one that he’ll be happy and successful with. Best of luck to Kris, signed a Caps fan.

    • joey4id - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Certainly his condition is unlike the broken leg Stamkos had to endure. However, including a concussion with a broken as a comparison demonstrates a clear lack of knowledge of the potential long term effects of concussions. A possible degenerative brain disease should not be lumped with a concussion. My guess is that most would rather lose a career because of a broken bone as opposed to a brain decease caused by a concussion, which is uncurrable.

      Hope he lives a long and prosperous life whether he returns or not.

      • lowenni - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        You misunderstood my point. Broken legs and concussions are common injuries (even if concussions can potentially have very negative long-term effects). A stroke is a serious, life-threatening disease that can cause parts of your bodies to shutdown, potentially forever. I wasn’t “lumping” it with concussions, I was contrasting the two. I’m aware of the effects of both.

      • machosasquatcho - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:19 PM

        blomfeld/joey, you either have too many chromosomes or not enough. You also can’t read and know nothing about injuries and medicine.

    • c9castine - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      you realize that doctors are the ones who decide if he plays again or not right?

      if a several of the top doctors in the world told me your ok to engage and strenuous physical activity, thats what i am going to do.

      can it happen again? yeah. can happen to you or me right now as well. you just go on living life…

  2. jpelle82 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    i’m circling april 12th on my schedule here kris…..

  3. csilojohnson - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    im sure the team doctors have his best interest in mind.

  4. penguins87and71 - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    I usually am a Kris Letang hater, but I would love to see him in the Penguins lineup. I find it funny how people think the Penguins are forcing Kris Letang back, the doctors have to clear him to do anything hockey related. It looks like Letang will be back this season, I also heard Chris Kunitz and James Neal could be back tomorrow, and Beau Bennett maybe this weekend. Martin should be back by the Playoffs. Look out NHL the Penguins are getting healthy!

    • JoeAvg - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      Healthy is one thing – in sync is another. When they are they’re near unstoppable. When they aren’t….well just look at this past weekend.

      Here’s hopin’ they find that groove cause when they’re in it they are a joy to watch.

  5. sjsharks66 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Personally I do not feel the team is pushing for his return. Letang is a very hard nosed competitor. I believe he may be pushing himself to come back sooner, to help his team. I just hope he is paying close attention to the medical staff when they were explaining the risks of coming back to soon.

    • c9castine - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      article i read stated that when doctors told him that he needed inactivity and rest to go along with the medication he took it the whole way and did it right…

      again, he doesn’t make the call. doctors decide if he is ready.

  6. flyboystransport - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Hope he is doing whats right. Stroke isn’t a minor thing and id hate to see him rush back and something bad happen

    • c9castine - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      been longer than the treatment frame. does feel like less time due to olympics i think

  7. flyersfan85 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Much health to Letang after a stroke. I still think he is a prick after fighting Kimmo..but he needs to get back in the and be a defensive liability again. Go Pens.

    • c9castine - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      poor little kimmo timonen.

      227 pts and +36 in 419 games…what a liability!

      • stakex - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:56 AM

        He called him a defensive liability, so posting his point total does nothing to refute that point.

        Also, +/- is a team stat. Letang spends a lot of time on the ice with Crosby and Malkin…. and that has helped his +/- far more than his rather average defensive ability. In fact, considering the fire power in front of him and his own ability to put up offensive numbers you would think his +/- would be a lot higher.

      • c9castine - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        honestly, thats a pretty solid number considering a lot of the damage this guy does is on the power play.

        a lot of power play specialists don’t have plus/minus numbers like that. but he recorded 3 seasons in a row of at least +15 or better. it is to a degree a team stat, but there are plenty of examples of guys on the same team with very high and low ratings. so, 5 on 5, he has a more positive impact on the ice than negative. right now, the Penguins shot differential over a 9 game span is -72 since the olympic break. With Letang in the lineup, its a +101.

        I cited his point totals because when your scoring, the other team isn’t scoring on you. Or your having a positive impact on the game, not a negative one.

        I think people see his offensive gifts and confuse him for Karlsson (career -26).

        Furthermore, I don’t see anybody doing or saying anything to prove the point that Letang is a defensive liability. I have heard a lot of people say it, I haven’t heard anybody give me an concrete reasons why.

    • flyersfan85 - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      Thick skin just not a thing in Pittsburgh. While not attempting to be a troll its too easy you Pens fans..such a sensitive bunch.

      Glad you knew what a defensive liability was Stakex. C9 seems a bit clueless about it.

      Whatever just another day on Penguins Hockey Talk (PHT). Too bad I cant thumbs down my own comment to get the Pens fans started.

      • c9castine - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        you seem like a fox news anchor…

        just because you say crap, doesn’t make it true.

        why don’t you substantiate your comments once in a while and give us so legit reasons why you think he is such a bad defenseman.

        stats, especially those over the course of a whole season or career are useful in generalizations like this. it represents a long period of time as opposed to that one turnover you watched him make against your team in the playoffs, or what have you.

      • flyersfan85 - Mar 18, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        So instead of refuting the guy that really “Stake”d you to the ground you want to come at me.. lol. Whatever..lets roll!

        And just so you know.. as I am sure the rest of the smarter-than-life-Pens fans know.. Fox is an ‘Entertainment” News network.. they won that title in court.. google it.. it’s fact.. so on that note anything I say is true.. as per the US courts..

        But, I am more of my own person.. you really shouldn’t take me seriously, as it appears that im sand in your panties.. waiting to become a pearl.

        Treat me like ToiletClown, or Sean Avery, a much better example.. I kinda do what I think is right at the time.. its relevant while I am doing it. BUT…not so much when reviewed on ESPN.

        Following.. no.. didn’t think so. I make as much sense as you wanting me to provide you some some sort of statistical data about Letang.. or whatever the case may be.

        Matter of fact, I am so unruly and nonsensical that I am starting to sound like a delusional Pens fan that thinks that you are going to dent the cup this year. Hang it up Princess, you and the Cindy Crew look good on paper.. but we all know that you are two sheets from being flushed onto a golf course.. see you on the green.

  8. toiletclown - Mar 18, 2014 at 6:16 AM

    lets all agree that philadelphia will be irrelevant again in about 3 minutes

    • flyersfan85 - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      I agree with everything you say cause your awesome smart…

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