Pittsburgh Penguins: Keep Kris Letang Out of Your Trade Talks

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 28: Kris Letang
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 28: Kris Letang /

Rumors have been circulating regarding Pittsburgh Penguins D-man Kris Letang  and his future with the team all season.

As we get closer to the trade deadline, I keep reading tweets and posts about fans wanting Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford trying to push Kris Letangs’ name in trade talks. From an analytics stand point trading Letang is ridiculous.

Earlier in the season Letang had shown signs of struggle. What do you expect from a player who had only played 41 games in the prior season?

The first half of the season, Letang tried to push the offensive zone too much which led to a lot of odd man rushes for the opposing teams. But what seemed to have been a struggle in the earlier parts of the season has slowed down extremely.

Through 52 games this year the new alternate captain has 30 points and has posted a -15. The plus/minus rating is the worst of his career.


TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 28: Kris Letang
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 28: Kris Letang /

The only actually upside to trading Kris Letang would be discarding the rest of his 8-year, $58 million dollar contract. If the Penguins were to move Letang they would open seven and a quarter million dollars per year.


These rumors and thoughts about trading an elite defenseman are almost as absurd as the rumors of the Penguins listening to offers for Evgeni Malkin these last couple of years.

The Penguins weakest link over the last couple of years has been the defense. The defenseman cannot seem to stay healthy. The team that has the most man games missed a lot of their time with the defenders.

The real questions to ask here are: what are you expecting back if you were to deal your number one defenseman? Who takes Letang’s spot as the number one D-man?

Tanger is a top 10 defenseman in the league and you are not going to swap him for another top 10 defenseman.

Even trying to trade him for a third line center would not work in the Pens’ favor, because Letang is an elite two-way defenseman when healthy. He also plays a big role in the Penguins power play, which has been the best in the league since the start of the new year.

Next: Penguins should go after Tyler Bozak

Also, if the Pittsburgh Penguins were to move Letang for a center and not a defenseman, it is likely that Matt Hunwick would take his spot in the line up. Hunwick has been nothing shy of bad this year. He tends to give up the puck in all three zones and can not stop the rush.

It is not likely that Rutherford tries to move Letang. If he were, it would easily be his worst move in his short but successful tenor .