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Could the Penguins Trade Kris Letang?

Could the Penguins decide to move a player like Kris Letang if the priority is to keep both goaltenders?

Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins
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During a recent mailbag segment for The Athletic, writer Josh Yohe made an interesting comment. While talking about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ plans for their two goaltenders — Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry — he discussed what might have to happen if the team decides to keep both netminders.

Hinting that Murray is likely the goaltender to be moved, the reason is because of the money he’ll be asking for to extend his deal. Yohe writes:

My sense is that it’s almost certain one of the Penguins’ goaltenders will be traded whenever the next off-season arrives. Let’s call it November. My hunch is that Matt Murray will be the one to go. He’s going to command a lot more money, and the salary cap is about to drop, maybe significantly. 

He added:

“They could keep both goalies, yes. But to do so, they’d probably have to trade Kris Letang or a couple of other important players. I think that’s unlikely.

Letang or Other Important Players to Be Traded?

The comment on Letang was almost thrown in there as an afterthought, but is there any truth to the idea that the Penguins might look to move one of their top blueliners over the past decade?

With two more seasons at $7.25 million per season, moving Letang would certainly free up money. But, as arguably the top defenseman on the Penguins’ roster, his 44 points in a shortened 61-game season is still impressive. Sure, injuries have played a factor in his productivity, but when he’s healthy, he’s pretty darn good.

And, as they often say, ‘If you trade a player like Letang, you’re immediately looking to acquire a player like Letang.’

Should the Penguins move him, what’s left? Justin Schultz may or may not be back. Jack Johnson certainly isn’t breaking down any doors for more ice time with his play, and Brian Dumolin isn’t going to quarterback the Penguins power play. That puts a lot of pressure on a young player like Marcus Pettersson who is about to play in the first year a long-term extension with the team.

It’s a good idea to have two strong goalies… but really… Letang? It’s an interesting idea and a bit ironic that just two days ago, it was the two-year anniversary of the day Letang scored the goal to clinch the Stanley Cup vs the San Jose Sharks. Letang didn’t get enough credit and probably should have been considered for the Conn Smythe. He was that good.

Related: Vancouver Canucks’ Jacob Markstrom Mugged by the NHL’s Power Rankings

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