With the clock ticking on the NHL season, Kris Letang is heading to the KHL immediately.
Renaud Lavoie of RDS writes, “Kristopher Letang will be in Russia soon. He’ll play in the KHL until the lockout is over,” Lavoie said via twitter.
I’m told Letang has signed with SKA of the KHL for the duration of the lockout and Letang exploring opportunities to play in Russia is nothing new as his agent Kent Hughes told me in November he had a deal worked out in the fall with a KHL team (SKA Saint. Petersburg) but Letang put it on the back burner due to the birth of his child.
However, leaving now with a CBA deal in sight and camps possibly opening on January 12th is odd timing as Letang would only get a couple games in if the league and players strike a last minute deal, like many still expect, despite talks going somewhat south on Thursday.
As for the CBA, although everything still points to a deal happening at the last minute, with these two sides involved (NHL and NHLPA) you can’t rule out anything and they are unlike the other three Major Sports. With the egos at play, the players and NHL’s top negotiators are dumb enough to screw things up and have another season be axed. Things have become so frustrating as the game of chicken between the two sides continues and the scary part is there’s a lot of buzz that Don Fehr’s ultimate plan is to have Gary Bettman cancel the season then try to complete a deal few days later, hoping pressure will mount on Bettman to reverse the announcement and reopen talks. It might sound like crazy talk but won’t surprise me if that is Fehr’s end game. There’s no sense right now he’s taking Bettman’s drop-dead date serious.
More on this in the morning.