It seems that the Pittsburgh Penguins have locked up another one of their stars, as reports see them agreeing to a long term deal with offensive defenceman Kris Letang. Letang had five goals and 38 points in 35 games this season. Letang was the only defenceman in the NHL to score more than one point per game, he was nominated for the Norris Trophy, finishing third in the balloting. He also had 16 points in 15 playoff games.
Letang, 26, is a 6 year NHL veteran with 209 career points in 385 career games, all with Pittsburgh. He was drafted in the third round (62nd overall) by Pittsburgh in the 2005 NHL entry draft. Letang was a member of the Stanley Cup winning Penguins team in 2009.
Reports indicate that the contract is for 8 years and $58 million putting Letang at a $7.25 million annual cap hit. The deal also includes a limited no-trade clause. The deal can not officially be signed until July 5th, but the deal is agreed upon. The contract will begin in the 2014-15 season.
The move makes Letang the third highest paid player on the Penguins, behind star centres Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. With James Neal, and Marc-Andre Fleury also carrying big cap hits, navigating the Salary Cap and finding players to surround the core will be reigning NHL GM of the Year Ray Shero’s biggest challenge in the coming years.
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