It’s been quiet so far today on the Kris Letang front after leaks last night of offers being declined from both sides. The sense continues to be that the Penguins plan to circle back to Letang one more time and see if some traction can be made but lets not kid ourselves, the team wanted it out there that Letang declined their offer.
While Letang might not have a no trade clause, he has leverage. Speaking to some people around the league in the know, they feel the Penguins won’t get fair value for Letang unless they grant teams permission to speak to Letang’s agent Kent Hughes.
For a team to even give up a Jordan Staal type of return, they are going to want assurances that Letang wants to sign there. Pittsburgh did well on the Staal trade because Carolina knew Staal was going to sign.
Last thing on Letang for now: It’s hard to find a scout who doesn’t feel Letang’s not one of the top five defensemen in the game. As one scout told me, “you have to do what you can to keep him….. special player”
NO QUALIFYING OFFER MADE TO KENNEDY YET
Heard from agent Steve Bartlett this morning who represents Tyler Kennedy and Mark Eaton. Bartlett said the Penguins have yet to “officially” make a qualifying offer ($2 million) to Kennedy and he hasn’t heard from the team on what the Penguins plans are for Kennedy, but barring a trade, Bartlett anticipates Kennedy being tendered.
Penguins GM Ray Shero also indicated this week he anticipates tendering Kennedy and Dustin Jeffrey, but you never know and neither player is a lock to be here next season. Jeffrey’s camp hope to see Dustin traded this weekend.
As for Mark Eaton, Bartlett said he doesn’t expect Pittsburgh to be an option for him, but he hasn’t been told by the team that they have ruled out resigning him.