Friday, June 28, 2013

Letang rejects $56M extension

By Jeff

The trade winds surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins' All-Star defenseman Kris Letang are swirling.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun is reporting that Letang and his camp rejected an eight-year extension worth $56 million. LeBrun continued that Letang countered with a deal that would pay him less than $8 million per season but the Pens said no.

If you've followed the Pens and their GM Ray Shero the past few years, then you've seen this scenario before. Last year it was reported that the Pens offered Jordan Staal 10 years for $60 million. When he rejected, the Pens shipped him to Carolina for a first-round pick, Brandon Sutter and prospect Brian Demoulin.

The deal would have been worth $7 million a year, if LeBrun's numbers are correct. That would put Letang in the top five highest paid defensemen in the NHL. He certainly deserves that kind of green and it strikes me as a fair deal. But anything more than that for a player who has lost his mind the past two postseasons? That seems a bit steep.

I could be wrong, but in light of this new information it seems as if Letang is going to be shipped off sooner rather than later. It was fun watching Letang and he'll be hard to replace, but with a number of highly-touted defensive prospects in the system, moving Letang is the best option considering the return he could get.

Here is LeBrun's short story.

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