Rob Rossi makes a legitimate (believe it or not) case for Kris Letang's days as a Penguin coming to an end in his recent article. (http://triblive.com/mobile/4210621-96/letang-shero-penguins).
Rossi also demonstrates Ray Shero's tendency to act quickly when contract negotiations fail or stall (see Hamhuis, Staal). So, the question becomes: Should contract negotiations not proceed at a reasonable pace, is trading Letang during the offseason in the Penguins best interest?
The team-first purely-hockey-based answer is that it would depend on the return the Penguins get in a trade, and how they replace a top-2 D-man and Norris candidate in their lineup. As a fan who truly loves to watch Letang play in the Vegas Gold and Black, I say if they are unable to reach an agreement they MUST trade Kris Letang. I have one reason why I say this: Max Talbot.
I can see it now. The 2013-14 season draws to a close and free agency begins. Kris Letang is one of the big names on the market. Does anyone believe the Flyers wouldn't do whatever it takes to sign him? Can't you just picture Kris Letang in Orange and Black? Doesn't it make you sick to your stomach?
Yes, the Kris Letang fan in me wants him traded. I want him traded to a west coast team that will sign him to the 7-8 year deal he wants. I want the draft picks/prospects/top-4 D-man they will get for him instead of letting him walk for no return. And, for the love of God, I never want to see him with that awful winged P on his chest.