It’s no secret to anyone who pays attention to hockey in Pittsburgh that much has been discussed about Kris Letang and his contract status with the Penguins.
It seems to have been long-believed that the 34-year-old star defenseman and the team would easily come to an agreement on an extension, but it may not be so simple.
Ice Breakers Checked in on #pens and their UFAs ahead of the trade deadline. It doesn't impact their trade deadline plans, but PIT and Kris Letang appear to be far apart on term in talks.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 10, 2022
Latest on #LetsGoPens Letang on @DailyFaceoff:https://t.co/8T8swtkes3
According to Frank Seravalli, Letang and the Penguins ‘have a big gap to bridge.’ This news is somewhat similar to what Pierre LeBrun talked about in December with term being a big sticking point in Letang/Penguin negotiations.
Seravalli reports that his sources indicate that Letang and his representatives have asked for a 5-year extension in the ballpark of $7 million per year. The Penguins are said to still not be willing to discuss a deal of that length.
Letang is in the final year of an 8-year deal that is paying him an average of $7.25 million per year.
Seravalli goes on to wonder if the Penguins would be willing to offer higher dollars per year in order to drive down the term.
It doesn’t seem like it would be an ideal decision from a long-term perspective to give a player who is about to turn 35 years old a contract that would take him into his 40’s, but we have seen players continue to thrive as they have moved well out of their prime.
One thing is clear — the Penguins can not continue to thrive on defense without Kris Letang in the mix, so for everyone’s sake, a bridging of the said gap and reaching a middle ground would be in the best interest for all involved.
What do you say? Would you rather give the current ask of $7ish million x 5 years — or would you prefer to give more money for less years?