Ron Hextall met with the media in Montreal ahead of the NHL draft, and especially for him, made a major statement about the progress with the Kris Letang contract negotiation.
#pens GM Ron Hextall says he’d be “surprised” if he doesn’t get an extension done with Kris Letang.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 6, 2022
Says he hopes to have it done before leaving Montreal.
For Hextall to so plainly state that the Letang extension is close — perhaps to be announced within the next 24-48 hours — surely means that at this point an agreement is all but in hand with only the “i’s to dot and t’s to cross” remaining for the contract.
The negotiation has been reportedly moving in this direction for a while, with various reports claiming differing levels of confidence that there could be a three or four year deal for the Penguins’ top blueliner. Clearly, terms still awaiting official agreement, filing with the league office and announcement, but for all the world it looks like good news is very imminent on the Letang front.
Once that deal is finalized, the Pens can then shift attention to focus on their other franchise cornerstone in Evgeni Malkin.
Ron Hextall said the Penguins are close to re-signing Kris Letang and he’s hopeful they can get it done before leaving Montreal. They aren’t as close with Evgeni Malkin but he said the intention remains to re-sign them both.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) July 6, 2022
Though rare in public talk, Hextall has said all along the team’s plan, hopes and intentions has always been to re-sign Letang and Malkin both. Negotiations have gone close to the wire, with free agency beginning now in less than a week next Wednesday (July 13th).
It doesn’t look like Letang will be going to free agency, according to the manager running the negotiation.