Report: Penguins' Kris Letang broke hand, foot late in second round

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Kris Letang had a painful end to his difficult season. (USATSI)
Kris Letang had a painful end to his difficult season. (USATSI)

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The Pittsburgh Penguins season ended painfully in more ways than one for defenseman Kris Letang. Aside from the series loss to the New York Rangers, Kris Letang suffered a broken foot in Game 6 and broke his hand in Game 7 according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.

Based on that info, it seems highly unlikely he would have been able to play had the Penguins found a way to extend their season. Additionally, it makes their inability to close out the series in Game 5 that much more frustrating.

Letang's injury news may seem of less significance in the offseason, but with a shakeup likely coming to Pittsburgh's roster, it's anything but.

The 27-year-old is set to begin the first year of his eight-year, $58 million contract next season, which comes with an annual cap hit of $7.25 million. That hit, plus the potential value a guy like Letang could bring to a team in search of quality veteran talent makes him a somewhat attractive trade piece.

That said, the value could be altered coming out of the season Letang just had from a health standpoint. Letang appeared in just 37 games this season while dealing with injuries and later in the year suffered a stroke, from which he fully recovered in time for the playoffs. Now his bad luck has struck again with the hand and foot injuries he sustained last week.

The offensive-minded blueliner was a Norris Trophy finalist last season, but has appeared in all 82 games just once in his career. A history of concussions is another strike against, not to mention the possible concern that there could be lingering effects from the stroke.

When in the lineup, Letang has often been a weapon. His puck-moving capabilities and power-play prowess will be an attractive commodity to a lot of teams, should he hit the trade block.

With 231 points from the blue line in 422 games, Letang has been a highly-productive player over seven-plus seasons. He also has 53 points in 93 postseason contests.

Should the Pens deal him, they would likely have to take back some salary, but there could be a number of teams that would take on Letang's history of injuries in order to get whatever production they can out of him.

As long as Letang recovers on schedule and gets himself healthy this offseason, there should be a market for him if the Penguins want to explore it.

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