Tonight Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told journalist Dejan Kovacevic that defenseman Kris Letang won't be playing again this season, no matter how long THE Pens may go in the playoffs. From Dejan ($)
Kris Letang will not play again for the Penguins this season, "even if we make a deep run in the playoffs," general manager Jim Rutherford told DKonPittsburghSports.com after tonight’s game at Consol Energy Center.
Letang has been out of the lineup since a March 28 check from the Coyotes’ Shane Doan sent him hard into the end boards and gave him a concussion. Letang, who was having a Norris Trophy-caliber season with 11 goals and 43 assists, has had a history of concussions.
Letang spent the night in the hospital on March 28. He also missed time earlier in the season when Zac Rinaldo rammed him into the boards. And there was the stroke last season and previous concussions as well.
There were reports Letang might be back to light exercise soon, but this is probably for the best. After so much trauma, he probably should be smart enough here to back away, get enough rest and plenty of time to heal up and hopefully when the summer ends he'll be ready to carry on.
For the Pens, it's a huge blow. Letang was having a Norris trophy caliber season this year, and was their #1 defenseman. With Christan Ehrhoff (also multiple head injuries) still with an unknnown timetable, and Olli Maatta (2nd shoulder surgery in under a year) out for the season, the Pens blueline is in tatters as Game 82 and the playoffs approach. What's quickly turning into a lost season won't be boosted by roster returns from the defense.