Dumping Letang

By Stevie
Word on the street is that Kris Letang is commanding a $7million/5 year contract extension. Why not? He is a Norris Trophy candidate. Ottawa’s treasured asset Erik Karlsson makes $7 million a year. Letang should get what the market dictates, right?
Wrong. Erik Karlsson is an overrated/overpaid perfectly good waste at least $2 million a year. Good point producer. Good flow from his hair. Sucks at ya know…defending.

Kris Letang is a talented nightmare depending on the day. Never have I seen a guy with so much talent and bursting at the seams with his various skill-sets waste them on a lack of discipline and respect for the game and his team.

There. I said it. My favorite player is now the bane of my existence. Only took two seasons to happen.


For every amazing thing that Letang does, whether it is teleporting across the ice or throwing his body in front of the net, he cancels it out by never being where he belongs. He takes his role as a point producer seriously, but his role as a point stopper with a grain of salt. “Meh. Maybe I stop zee puck. Maybe I skate around feeling zee breeze in my hair.”

$7 million a year for a guy who has become the world’s greatest turnover machine with a penchant for losing his mind and taking stupid penalties in detrimental situations is not something the Pens can afford and not something the market should pay for.
To start, the Norris Trophy is a joke. It is basically the Art Ross Junior Award to defenders. “Say! Do you like being out of position constantly in an attempt to score goals rather than hanging around the point trying to keep the puck in the offensive zone? You do? Here’s a trophy for defying logic!”

Keeping with the “new” definition of Greatest Defender in the League since the departure of Nick Lidstrom, by all accounts on this season, the award should go to Letang over Subban. They may have tied in points, but Letang did it in 7 less games played. If this is nothing more than a point race like the Art Ross, then give the man his hardware. But don’t factor it into his salary. Norris Trophies are for defensive liabilities, not seasoned superstars.

On any given night, one cannot predict which version of Kris Letang is showing up at the rink. There is the version that plays an outstanding game, is a strong asset to the power play, hits hard, and stops the puck. Then, there is the version that is an unmitigated disaster and does whatever he wants. He doesn’t play within the system. He lets his temper get out of control causing him to take ridiculous penalties. He turns over the puck over and over and over and over and over again.
Something about the way Letang has conducted himself over the course of the last two seasons or so says something about him and about Dan Bylsma. It says that Letang does what Letang wants to do and that Bylsma does nothing to wrangle him in and force him to be a more disciplined player.

If Letang wants to stay with the Pens for a reasonable amount of money, I propose he switch to being a forward, get paid $4.5-5 mil a year and tries to score 25-30 goals. There is no reason in the universe to give this guy more money than James Neal or Paul Martin.

Trade him and give Simon Despres his ice time so that he can develop. I honestly don’t care if we trade him for a stay at home defender, a winger, or just salary dump him so that the money can go toward signing Pascal Dupuis and/or Kris Kunitz at a fair price.

The Pens cannot afford another season of playing guessing games on Letang’s performance and motivation.


3 responses to “Dumping Letang

  1. Sadly, couldn’t agree more. He was my fav too. I’d rather have defense than dazzle. He should be ashamed and I hope he gets his money elsewhere. In fact, the ONLY two I hope we do anything to keep are Dupuis and Kunitz. Of course Cooke and Adams – but hey. Not sure how I feel about Disco and crew getting extentions. Tired of “the system” and “get to our game” and Penguins hockey. We need a new philosophy. One of which I thought we had with the whole “D as One”. But, meh – guess nobody bought in. Tell my Dan’s lost the boys. Two more play off exits to go I guess, eh?

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