Following an up-and-down season, some have speculated if the Penguins could consider trading defenseman Kris Letang this summer. Speaking with Josh Yohe of The Athletic (subscription required), GM Jim Rutherford acknowledged that he’s not shopping the blueliner but he stopped short of confirming that he won’t be dealt:
“He’s not a guy that I’m actively trying to trade from our team. He’s been a great player for a long time and I think he’ll continue to be so. But, I can’t sit here and project an offer that some team could come along and make. I can’t project the future.”
The 31-year-old collected 51 points (9-42-51) in 79 games this season but struggled at times in the defensive zone. However, he did manage to stay healthy which is notable since he was coming off of significant neck surgery. Letang has four years remaining on his contract after this one with a cap hit of $7.25MM. The Penguins would also likely need to get his permission for a trade as he carries an 18-team no-trade clause plus a no-move clause.
More from the Metropolitan:
- Blue Jackets prospect center Alexandre Texier will remain overseas for at least one more year, GM Jarmo Kekalainen confirmed to Steve Gorton of the Columbus Dispatch (Twitter link). The 18-year-old was a second-round pick (45th overall) back in 2017 and is coming off a quality showing at the World Championships where he picked up three assists in seven games despite being one of the youngest players in the tournament. However, the team would like to see him get a little stronger physically and have decided that keeping him with KalPa of the SM-liiga is the best way to go.
- While his acquisition largely flew under the radar, Capitals blueliner Michal Kempny has been a key addition to their back end, argues Matthew Paras of the Washington Times. He has worked his way into a regular role (something that wasn’t the case in Chicago) and Washington is allowing three fewer shots a game with him in the lineup compared to earlier in the season. GM Brian MacLellan has expressed an interest in re-signing him although given their cap constraints, they may not be able to offer much more than the $900K he’s currently making.