It started out as a rumour that even TSN’s Darren Dreger doubted : Penguins defenseman Kris Letang on the trade block in Pittsburgh? He just can’t see it happening.
However, in an interview with team insider Rob Rossi for The Athletic, Letang revealed that he expects to be traded from the club that selected him 62nd overall back in 2005 and fears it more this offseason than any other. He has reportedly told teammates he is scared to get moved this fall or next summer.
That might have prompted some rival teams to investigate further about the rumour: team insider Josh Yohe of The Athletic reports that sources around the league have spoken with Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford regarding Letang. While nothing indicates that he is being actively shopped, an offer from a rival club could entice the fearless GM and who knows, he could pull the trigger and make Letang’s fear come true.
Letang has two years left on his current contract, but hasn’t been the same player in the past seasons. Many fans are hopeful that the arrival of former Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden will get him back to the level he used to show on the ice.
We don’t know which teams is intrigued and how much they would be willing to give up for a veteran blue liner with $7.25 million against the salary cap next season.
There is a sense that Rutherford might be trying to scare Letang shitless, looking to see if that will get him going again. We all remember last summer when trade rumours surfaced about Geno and how he came back with a vengeance, ready to show he was not done in Pittsburgh and could make them a true contender. We sure saw it when he stepped up during the absence of Crosby.
This could have the same effect on Tanger.
Unless, Rutherford gets caught at his own game and receives an offer from one of these interested teams that he simply cannot refuse…