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The Penguins and defenseman Kris Letang have made progress in discussions on a contract extension, but still have some work to do before making a deal.

Getting Letang sealed into a long term deal has been a priority to the Penguins, and it could be a huge benefit to the future of the team. He is on the fast track to becoming one of the best defenseman in the NHL.  The only problem with that is paying him the salary of a top defenseman on a team with large salary cap hits from Crosby, Malkin, and others.

“It’s simpler enough to say we’re just not done yet,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said at the NHL Draft in New Jersey. “Still working on it with his agent. We haven’t had time to get together today with the draft. I’ll talk to him a little later and try to work through a couple of things and get back at it.”

“He’s a real good defenseman for us. He’s at the right age. I hope that’s going to be the case,” Shero said of an extension.

Shero wouldn’t divulge any details on what aspects of the contract need to be worked on because the negotiations are still ongoing.

“I had a meeting with (Letang’s) agent (Saturday) afternoon and later that night when we chatted again it turned more positive,” Shero said. “This morning we were trying to wrap a few things up, but we’re still not there yet. We just took a little break. We’ll get back at it and see if we can close the gaps here and there and see where we are.

“It usually comes down to the money and the term. There are things we still need to work on. We’ll see where it takes us.”

The Penguins offered an 8 year 56 million dollar deal to Letang, but his agent reportedly turned the offer down, wishing to be more at the 7.5-8 million-a-year range. The Penguins reportedly said that range is too much. Letang has not tried to hide the fact that he enjoys Pittsburgh and playing for the Pens, so I expect a deal to be made within the next 2 weeks. If not I shudder at the defensive struggles the Pens may have if nobody of that caliber replaces the position. 

3/1/2017 11:22:26 pm

thank you

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    Dan Taylor
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