The Winnipeg Jets are in the news again today, this time announcing that veteran forward Mark Letestu will not be playing hockey anytime soon. Head coach Paul Maurice explained to reporters including Mitchell Clinton that Letestu has been diagnosed with myocarditis, a virus that attacks the heart. Expected to make a full recovery, Letestu will be allowed only to do light activity for six months.
It’s a tough break for a player who was just trying to keep his NHL career in tact after playing almost all of 2018-19 in the minor leagues. Letestu signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Jets at the start of free agency and has suited up seven times for them this season.
Obviously everyone hopes that he can return, but a six-month layoff at this point in his career may spell the end of Letestu’s time in the NHL. The 34-year old is a great example of perseverance, working his way up from being an undrafted college free agent to a regular in the league. Over 567 regular season games he has scored 210 points, adding another 15 in his 36 postseason appearances.
For the Jets, this just takes another one of their depth pieces off the board for the rest of the season. While Letestu wasn’t expected to make a huge contribution, it still means his experience won’t be available for the team if they run into other injury concerns.