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Kris Letang does big bucks for charity, Dylan Larkin signs up

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Letang a charity hero, what the Red Wings and Larkin might mean for Jake Guentzel

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Often times stories are negative these days, so it’s always great to celebrate a positive. Kris Letang did some good last weekend with the help of fellow NHLers and friends in David Perron and Jonathan Drouin among others to help raise $120,000 for a children’s hospital in Quebec.

The Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman teamed up with some other NHL stars to raise $120,000 to help sick children at the Ste-Justine Hospital.

”I’m a dad myself. To give back to them, [give them] the chance to live a normal life, have the best care we can give them, that’s all I hope,” he said.

This is the second year Letang’s held this event, and last summer they raised $50,000 so this year was quite a big jump for money for the kids. Good on him and all involved.

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The Detroit Red Wings signed center Dylan Larkin for five years at a rate of $6.1 million dollars. Detroit bought some UFA years, but as always with a big contract (as mentioned) Pens fans should keep it in mind with Jake Guentzel and his next deal - as we touched on earlier in the week.

On Larkin, from SBN friends Winging it in Motown:

The 22-year-old Waterford native is coming off a big 62-point season, he was also the final RFA signing that the team needed to take care of before training camp starts later this summer.

There was a lot of speculation as to what the Red Wings would do with Larkin — if they would sign him longer term, or put him on a bridge deal. This contract will lock him up into his late 20’s

Larkin is a center and coming off that big 62-point season, that’s two more valuable traits than Guentzel currently. So keep that in mind, but still that’s another example of a young player getting some guaranteed big bucks. Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart and Toronto’s William Nylander also will be getting new contracts before the season. Both figure to get sizeable contracts. If you’re in the Guentzel camp this is very good news.

One other note that WiiM pointed out is even after the long-term injury reserve for unofficially retired Johan Franzen, Detroit is still $3.3 million over the salary cap right now.

Keep that in mind with this quote from general manager Ken Holland on Friday.

“I am anxious to know where Henrik Zetterberg is at — certainly, he’s a bit of an unknown in terms of health. He didn’t practice basically the last two, two and a half months of the season; he just played games,” Holland said Friday. “I have talked to his agent a number of times over the course of the summer and I know he’s had a tough summer.

“He hasn’t been able to train anywhere near close to what he’s been able to train in past summers due to his back, so there’s a real unknown right now with Henrik Zetterberg. I’m hoping that Z is good, and we’ll have to address that probably in the month of September.”

Add it all up and it looks like we very well may have seen the last of soon-to-be 38-year old Zetterberg in the NHL. And, not that his back situation is weird but he has played all 82 games for the last three seasons, so it’s not like this has been an issue to keep him out previously. But at his age, and especially with a tricky area like the back - it doesn’t take much to not be at NHL caliber. Such a shame as he was such a good player over the years and just about the last remaining true blue link to Detroit’s glory days.

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If true, finally some good news for the Ottawa Senators for a change. Big picture, maybe they’re better letting Tkachuk go back to college but they traded their first round pick in 2019 in the Matt Duchene trade, so they might as well try to put the best team out there that they can.

Why would Tkachuk join a bad NHL team over a year in college? Well, 3.7 million reasons over the next nine months come to mind. The sooner he signs, the sooner he gets paid and the sooner he gets out of his entry level contract and towards free agency and more lucrative contracts assuming he plays well. The Sens don’t have much going for them, but a player like Tkachuk will add a lot of energy, skill and oomph for their team and they can use anything good that comes their way.

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That’s it for a somewhat slow Saturday, feel free to chop it up in the comments with what’s on your mind and what if anything is grinding your gears.