Sunday, June 30, 2013

Letang, Pens close to deal

By Jeff

Word on the Twittersphere is that Kris Letang and the Pittsburgh Penguins were negotiating late into the night it appears a deal is close.

Renaud Lavoie of RDS tweeted "I've been told that the Penguins and Kristopher Letang are close to a deal. Small details to be resolved and contract will be official."

Yeah, so it's looking like I was pretty wrong about the whole trade thing. Once it was reported that Letang had rejected the Pens' initial offer and Letang was all mopey about members of the Pens organization saying Paul Martin was the team's best defenseman last season, I thought we had seen Letang's last game with the team.

It makes sense that Pens general manager Ray Shero want to bring Letang back. He is one of the top defensemen in the league. Who would you take ahead of him? My short list would be Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Zdeno Chara, Drew Doughty and maybe Erik Karlsson.

The problem with Letang is that while he has been a regular season superstar, he has mentally broken down in the playoffs the past two seasons. If this deal gets done, the Pens are making an expensive gamble. They are betting that Letang puts it together in future postseasons.

One big factor in deciding if this is the right deal is if Letang gets a full no-movement clause in the contract. If he does, the Pens will be stuck paying him more than $7 million a year for 8 years. If he never matures in the postseason, that's a bad deal. I don't care how good of a skater he is.

Now, if there is no such clause, and the Pens can move him in the future if he doesn't improve in the playoffs, then I'm all for bringing him back and making that bet.

 Of course, all of this could just be smoke and mirrors while Shero works out a trade.

UPDATE: It's being reported that Letang and Pens have an 8-year, $58 million deal ($7.25 cap hit) with a limited no-trade clause to 15 teams on the table. Still need to iron out details at the draft. Not a fan of the clause, but at least it's not a full no-trade.

No comments:

Post a Comment