Source: Letang Remains in Line to command 4 year deal

Kris Letang’s former agent Ken Hughes, who was recently named Montreal Canadiens GM, made it known to the Penguins brass just before training camp that any chance of extension was going to take a four year deal and there was going to be little room on their end for much of any of a paycut from Letang’s current salary of $7.25 million per season.

Multiple sources say the Letang camp approached the Penguins about a 4 year deal worth around [hide] $30 million back in September that Pittsburgh did not move on for various reasons, chief among them was the pending sale, but four years at the time was something Hextall & Co just weren’t comfortable with.[/hide]

Several months later and Hextall/Burke have continued to be hellbent on not bending beyond To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

The Penguins after the New Year finally exchanged some numbers with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang camps, sources say. There are strong indications the Penguins offered both players near identical To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

The offer was ‘strongly’ declined from the Letang side, while the Penguins feel some level of progress [hide] has been made on the Malkin front.

Making things problematic from the Penguins end with Letang who is having a statistically great season, is there’s been no bend on the soon to be 35 year old’s end and in fact, a tougher negotiation has played out with his new representation as talks in the last month have seen the Letang camp counter by wanting five years.

The feeling around the league is that five years is wishful thinking, but the view of Letang is he remains in line to command a four year deal in free agency.

“Pittsburgh has no replacement for him and really no avenues to replace what he does for them” an NHL source said of Letang. “When you have that Crosby guy and still in the business of competing for the Stanley Cup [like Pittsburgh is], sometimes you just have to make a deal you’re uncomfortable with. It’s incompetence to be playing hardball,” the source added.[/hide]