The chances are improving of Kris Letang not being a Pittsburgh Penguin next season. Letang’s agent Kent Hughes informed Penguins GM Ray Shero this evening that Letang is turning down an 8 year offer from the Penguins. It was first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
The Penguins offer made on Wednesday was for 8 years and around $54 million, team sources said this morning. The offer did not include a no trade clause for all eight years of the deal, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned
Letang eyes a full no trade clause and close to $8 million per season. Letang countered the Penguins offer, asking for 8 years, $62.5 million with a full no trade clause, a source with direct knowledge of the talks said. An obvious no go for the Penguins.
Letang’s agent Kent Hughes tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports that despite declining the Penguins offer, the two sides are still working to reach an agreement.
“We have exchanged offers and continue to work towards reaching an agreement,” Hughes said.
No new talks are planned, although the Penguins plan to circle back to Letang’s camp in the next 24 hours on whether some traction can be made.
Can the two sides find middle ground at let’s say $7.25 million per season? Talks are reaching a critical point and Letang has begun doing his homework on possibly playing elsewhere.
A report from the Tribune-Review of Letang preferring to play in Toronto were a deal not be worked out with the Penguins, appears to have a little bit of traction as sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports Letang has been reaching out to players around the league (on potential places he’d like to play) and has spoken to Maple Leafs players about what playing in Toronto is like.
Toronto isn’t the only city Letang has done his homework on. Sources say Philadelphia is also very high on Letang’s preferred destinations were a deal with Pittsburgh not be worked out.
If there’s a team willing to give Letang his $8 million +, it would be Philadelphia.
The Penguins dealing Letang to the Eastern Conference is something they will look to avoid, though. Internal discussions have the Penguins very intrigued about a potential deal with the Anaheim Ducks. Pittsburgh is high on the Ducks group of prospects, defenseman Luca Sbisa and appear to like Bobby Ryan more than first believed.
While the info being relayed to me is the Penguins have not shutoff talks, they wanted it out there for a reason that Letang turned down their offer, similar to Jordan Staal last year.