When it was revealed that legendary Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang suffered a minor stroke, the first thoughts most had weren’t hockey-related. Everyone involved, including the Penguins, emphasized the importance of prioritizing Letang’s health over any hockey-related concerns. Now, just 12 days after his health scare, Letang is firmly back in the mix for a lineup spot in Pittsburgh.
Per Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, as relayed by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Letang returned to practice and is available for tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. It’s a remarkable turn of events for the veteran defenseman and a development that speaks to the strength, resilience, and immense toughness he’s displayed over the course of his NHL career.
Some other injury updates from across the NHL:
- The Minnesota Wild have been without forwards Ryan Hartman and Brandon Duhaime as they each work back from upper-body injuries. Per The Athletic’s Michael Russo, both skaters are expected to return to practice with the Wild next week, when the team returns from its road trip. (subscription link) Hartman’s return is important for the Wild, whose thin crop of centers has forced them into using Sam Steel as their first-line center. Hartman, who scored 34 goals and 65 points last season, should be a better fit for that role, while Duhaime’s return should add some snarl to the team’s bottom-six.
- Chicago Blackhawks starting netminder Petr Mrazek suffered his second groin injury of the season, but thankfully for Chicago, it seems to have been just a minor setback. Per NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis, Mrazek is aiming to return for the Blackhawks’ game against the Washington Capitals.
- The St. Louis Blues are set to get a defenseman back when Torey Krug returns to the ice tomorrow, per Blues coach Craig Berube. (via NHL.com’s Lou Korac) Krug has missed the Blues’ last two games, and his return should help the team shore up a blueline that has surrendered goals at an alarmingly high rate for the past two weeks.
Haven’t seen much of krug since he left Boston but his strengths were never really shoring up the back end