Should the Pens consider dealing Letang?

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Penguins' started by cassius, Nov 5, 2017.

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  1. pixiesfanyo

    pixiesfanyo Registered User

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    I mean 28 ES points for a defenseman coming back from major neck surgery and playing most of his shifts against the other teams best line is good for me.
     
  2. Honour Over Glory

    Honour Over Glory Rusty's Duster

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    #1 Fan of Rust. #17 on the Pens, #1 in my heart.
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    Threepeat fever or not, there have been some bizarre coaching decisions this season more than last.
     
  3. madinsomniac

    madinsomniac Registered User

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    A. Yes for tge right offer Letang should absolutely be dealt while his value is substantial, and it would be...

    B. Hockey coaches have short shelf lives... its just how this sport is... it wouldn't surprise me if we didn't have good playoffs the next two years and he is out before three years, but there is no way he gets fired this year unless he assults mario.... and next year too... even the third year past this would be iffy without otherissues besides playoff results.....you gain some serious capital winning b2b championships after all...
     
  4. MetalheadPenguinsFan

    MetalheadPenguinsFan Disco Is Dead!!!

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    Agreed.

    Hopefully we can nip that **** in the bud before we end up with another Bylsma situation where we foolishly waste the rest of Sid and Geno's career potentials because we hung onto Sully and his stubbornness for too long.
     
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  5. Tender Rip

    Tender Rip Well balanced genius. Like, really smart.

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    Then you might as well just say that you'll move the goal post to any extent that in your mind sufficiently blunts criticism.

    Letang is tied for 30th in ES points. He is tied for 6th in TOI per game. He plays a good deal against opponents best, yes, and a GREAT deal with our best, who outside McDavid happens to be just about the best in the league.... which is to say that he plays a great deal with great players on a team that has now scored the second most goals in the league this season.

    There is never a QOC argument to boost Letang's case. Never. There is always a QOC one to inflate it.

    Anyway - his ES production this season is clearly just about the worst we've seen from him since he was a kid... (well, since 2010/2011 with Orpik where he was solid defensively for sure). A 2.9% shooting percentage of course doesn't help him, and as his defense has been really, really bad for the majority, you just cannot present an argument that he has this season been worth his salary much less that his offense justifies it.

    But of course I am not saying "trade him for the hell of it" either. A player like him one would need a really solid return on, and obviously as a GM one would also need to feel pretty good that there were options in free agency to limit what would always be a lot of minutes to distribute to others.
    Then if Letang puts things together and plays like "good Letang" most the time on another team, we'd quite likely be seen as having made a mistake, because that guy IS a very, very good player. I just think it is completely lottery season on believing that his best is going to come post-31, post numerous injuries though, not least with how he has looked for the majority of this season.

    Again - lets cross our fingers, toes and what have you, that he plays 20 something great games in the playoffs. I'm certainly not rooting for him to fail.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  6. Pancakes

    Pancakes Registered User

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    For what it's worth, defensemen seem to age alright. Guys like Niedermayer, Pronger, etc were effective well into their 30s. Letang isn't quite on their level but is a star player nevertheless. I suspect he's got plenty of good hockey left in him.
     
  7. Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks Mistakes brought to you by my iPhone.

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    Depends on what the biggest contributing factor is this season. If it’s the preseason that will be fixed but if it’s more the neck it won’t.

    I’m not sure what JR will do. I think he might just throw the name out there and see what offers come.

    I’m always on the fence but Letang under Sully before his injury was playing some of his best hockey. As much as I love Olli I’d keep Letang and move Olli and try to bring in an elite (or close too) skater on D. Someone like Daley’s first season here.
     
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  8. Coach John McGuirk

    Coach John McGuirk "Hi, I'm Kris Letang"ヽ(。_°)ノ

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    Letang had surgery a year ago. He's had more than enough time to rehab and adjust. He's in as ludicrous physical shape as anyone I've ever seen in the NHL--his surgery and recovery are not an issue.

    The guy is as wildly inconsistent/underwhelming as he's always been throughout his career, but I think his issues are complicated by the sit-down he had with the coaches this summer. There's no evidence on paper, but I'd imagine it essentially came down to "Kris, you have to stop playing with total disregard to your health and safety. We need you in the lineup." And, to a degree, it's worked. Letang's been in the lineup and healthy. But, the problem is, healthy Letang means watered-down, neutered Letang. His best comes from that frantic, desperate, rabid style of hockey that leads to him getting seriously injured all the time. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I don't really care if he's racking up the points, either. This team isn't hurting for offensive potential. His value to us is and always has been as a defensive/transition player, not as an elite point producer. His skating is what made him his best. He's never been an elite passer, or an elite shooter. His absolutely insane ability to cover ice quickly and with authority is what made him dangerous. His ability to close gaps, smother guys, get pucks and skate them out of harms way/through the neutral zone--that was what made him a fantastic blueliner. I couldn't care less if his point totals were below or near where he's usually at. He's been dog**** this season--absolutely unforgivably bad.

    I don't think he's as bad as he's been this season, I just think he's trying to play like someone he isn't; a calculated, calm, collected player. He's an instincts, quick reaction type of guy and he's thinking way too much. If you take the leash off of him, he likely improves, but he also likely puts himself in the hospital again. He's got insane value around the league and I don't doubt for a second JR would have a dozen or more suitors calling, and several would have great packages that would A. help this team fill out the roster, B. get us out from a $7.25M/yr deal with a wildly inconsistent and/or injury prone player. I hope like Hell JR moves him this summer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
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  9. Peat

    Peat Registered User

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    Letang's been statistically better than Schultz this season on the PP and, given how godsbloodyawful we've been at ES this year, I'm not sure how much I'm gonna blame Letang for only just looking like a 1D in terms of ES production. Pretty much all of Sid's regular ice buddies saw holes in their A totals in the first half of the season from when he was shooting at his lowest ES production in forever.

    Not sure I'd agree with that. Sully had Kunitz on the 1st line for a disturbing amount of time; there was also Horny getting moved away from Sid when he and Sid looked absolutely invincible. The persistence in believing HBK could refind the magic. Bizarre moves have always been part of his modus operandi, as has been a certain stubbornness.

    And I think people are really overinflating the importance and oddity of some of the things that have happened this season, particularly if they think they've been the main problem. This season has been filled with so many weird and undesirable things that the fate of our 5th dman and 4th best RW (at very best) shouldn't register so high up the scale.

    What if the biggest factor is trying to modify his game to take less physical risks?
     
  10. NMK11

    NMK11 Registered User

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    The counter point is that all of those guys and other defensemen who age well have high hockey IQs. They can let their positioning and understanding of the game stave off declining physical skills. Letang is kind of the opposite.
     
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  11. AverageJoeFan

    AverageJoeFan Mad cat Sponsor

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    Thread observations(paraphrasing):
    1) Pens might have been working on a trade to deal him. Well, they didn't so moot point.
    2) Management may have told him to play more with his health in mind. Don't be you Kris, be someone else. If this is Letang's interpretation of their mandate it needs some work. I think him playing on the edge is a part of what made him great sometimes. If he is really in genuine danger physically I would hope he would retire and not risk permanent damage or worse.
    3) Goalies aren't as good when Letang is on the ice. Wonder if that is because he gives up really high scoring chances? HA
    4) Kris's hockey IQ is low. So is his regular IQ. Not sure why people rag on him so much for IQ. He speaks 2 languages which is one more than I speak.
    5) There's no other "good" option for the Pens out there. The Pens won a cup without him. Are the Pens better with him. Probably. But at this point I think everyone should think we can indeed win without him in the lineup.
    6) He's not playing what his contract is worth. Yep. Which is why I doubt they trade him
    7) Trade Hunwick if you want to improve the D. I could not agree more.

    My previous observations:
    1) He looks physically weaker. He has a rough go on the boards getting the pucks out and around any forecheck.
    2) He's not as fast. Speed is a great way to make up for positional mistakes. Getting beaten around the outside is not something you would normally see with him.
    3) Turnovers, always and forever.
    4) Risky passes from in deep on our own end. Almost never works the boards with a pass. Occasionally he hits a home-run with a pass, but not often enough.
     
  12. Jesse

    Jesse Registered User

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    I broke down a ton of video last week on Letang's individual gaffe's that have, more often than not, ended up in the back of the net. Here's a few observations I made that stood out to me reviewing well over 15 of these kind of goals-against.

    1. He never has his head up. He's skating in targeted on the puck, not the player.
    2. I haven't seen any semblance of physical play from him in 1v1 situations. It's almost as if he's avoiding it entirely. Letang has never been a big hitter, and I'm not saying that's a requirement, but when you're getting turned around like a turnstile over and over again, separating man from puck is the best way to fix it.
    3. What happens after he gets dusted is just as important, as his recovery ability is seemingly non-existent. Once he gets burned, he becomes a passenger, watching his teammates attempt to make up for his errors.

    I am not sure what an appropriate turnaround time for Letang's surgery is. Look at how long it took Olli Maatta to recover from all his issues. We're just now seeing him return to form years later. Obviously, it's not the exact same issue as he dealt with multiple ailments, but Letang, at least to me, seems like a guy that's trying to play the game of hockey at a no-contact level. I don't see a player that is sure of himself in virtually anything he does.

    Overall, outside of point production, his even-strength defensive results are as good as they've ever been. That said, these "Letang moments" that occur once a game and often end up in goals against have got to get cleaned up before the playoffs come.
     
  13. Shaffer

    Shaffer GuentzGoal

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    I would like to add that Letang (normally) doesn’t tie up his man in front of the net. He let’s his man stand there without giving any contact. If anything, I would like that to be fixed because it leads to deflections and rebound goals.

    Also, Letang leaves the offensive zone too early. I’ve seen it a number of times. When Dumoulin has the puck at the hashmark, Letang is already at the blue line gaining speed. That’s what our wingers should be doing, not our defenseman.
     
  14. Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks Mistakes brought to you by my iPhone.

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    He had 7 months off from hockey and wasn’t cleared to do much at all until 2 weeks before the season started. He never stepped on a rink until late September 2017 (his last game was in February 2017).

    It doesn’t matter how great of shape he was in, 7 months of little activity will have a huge impact on anyone. I think you underestimate how much the time off and 2 weeks pre season has on a player. It would greatly affect everyone’s game. It’s not something you really “catch up” on when you are talking those time frames.
     
  15. HandshakeLin

    HandshakeLin Now brought to you in glorious Shaw-Scope!

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    Which was to be expected given the departures over the off-season. I guess I'm just a little annoyed that we didn't really step up and find a good replacement for Tocchet in the off-season, since Recchi doesn't seem to have as much effect in that spot and it feels like another good-ol-boy hire. :dunno:
     
  16. Corvidae

    Corvidae Registered User

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    Letang to Columbus for Cole, but we'll probably have to retain salary.
     
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  17. Rodgerwilco

    Rodgerwilco Here mainly for the Geek Emporium

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    I think they should CONSIDER trading Letang... But I think they should only do it if it's a sure-fire win in the trade.
     
  18. molon labe

    molon labe Registered User

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    I believe plan A was to get Gonchar in there - which would have been a SOLID choice. Plan B was the good ole boy hire, and it hasn't been terrible - just not as good as the man who was recently hired for a head coaching stint.

    ---

    Dealing Letang is tricky. The man's jersey is on my wall and I recall defending him over anyone else for votes for the 16 Smythe (I had him or Sid all day) - but his health IS a concern here. I'd say his health is concern 1a to consistency 1b. We're paying him what 2.5 Ian Cole's would make. The Pens' identity is their elite offense - and I'm sure that any defender getting 25 mins on this team would rack up equal ES stats... I can't think of a single instance this year where Letang drove the offense. He USED to, sure - but not lately. Mind you we've got him on contract for quite a while. When do we say the rehab project is done and it's time to move on?

    My suggestion would be to target a team like the Blues who have had ups and downs with Parayko. They're a team TRYING to get faster, and don't have the PMD on the PP to set up Tarasenko. They are likely going to be big fish this summer having only either missed or scraped into the playoffs after consecutive great runs. From the Penguins end you'd get another giant / good skating / physical defender who can be (likely) consistantly in the lineup - therefore allowing us to live and die by our forwards just as we always do. Sully's Pens have always played defense by committee anyway... it's just that in the regular season guys don't go as hard with it. I think Parayko was once a pipe dream that many blues fans might now consider dealing. But if it's not for a physical / reliable D - I agree with the sentiment that it wouldn't make a lot of sense to deal him. However, just playing 25-26 mins a game does not excuse him from all of the other lapses and lack of production (what happened to that damn point shot??)

    Like many of you I hope he goes beast mode in the playoffs and shuts everyone up. It would be really weird to see him in any other sweater.
     
  19. pixiesfanyo

    pixiesfanyo Registered User

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    I think this needs to be addressed. Letang’s issue isn’t IQ related. He overthinks the play. He overcommits to offensive pinches thinking he can dazzle.

    If anything he needs to think LESS and play a calmer game and his coaches have said as much. Letang was ridiculed by Sullivan on how much tape he watches.

    That being said, reality is Letang will and probably should be traded by the time his contract is up. Just like Kessel. You move those players when given the opportunity and attempt to rebuild. The only career Penguins on this roster should be Crosby or Malkin.
     
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  20. wgknestrick

    wgknestrick Registered User

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    Did PIT win the cup with Letang playing 0 minutes the entire playoffs?

    There is your answer on if we should trade Letang or not. You couldn't say the same about Malkin, Crosby, or Murray. Letang is generally a +-0 out there at 5v5 (ie a non difference maker). If that isn't the definition of a player you don't want taking up 7mil/year, then I don't know what is.

    Letang is the MAF of defenders.
     
  21. HandshakeLin

    HandshakeLin Now brought to you in glorious Shaw-Scope!

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    Agreed on all of these. And again, Letang's ability to get away with overthinking is one that is largely contingent on his physical condition- when he's firing on all cylinders, it doesn't matter if he second or third guesses a play, or gets caught in a bad pinch, he's mobile enough to cover.

    It's when he's having an off-day, physically, that a lot of those normal Letang moments become massive glaring ****-ups. :laugh:
     
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  22. pixiesfanyo

    pixiesfanyo Registered User

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    What is odd about this is he typically used to be?

    I think the coaching to “avoid putting himself in vunearable positions” has really messed up his game. I’ll be curious if he continues to play as tentative physically in the playoffs. If he does, I can definitely get behind moving him. It’d probably be better for both parties. I’d be sad forever though. <3 Letang.
     
  23. HandshakeLin

    HandshakeLin Now brought to you in glorious Shaw-Scope!

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    I always saw Gonch as the blueline coach, (and it needs to be mentioned, he's been fantastic there), and Recchi was going to take over Tocchet's work with the forwards. But I'm actually not sure if we might not have been better off swapping Recchi and Guerin, (assuming that either one of them would be up for it). :laugh:
     
  24. NMK11

    NMK11 Registered User

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    Lordy. For the millionth time, last seasons playoffs are not what you want to model your team off of. Our defense was scraping by without Letang, not doing well despite missing him. At this point I'm just going to assume that anyone else who says we don't need him because of last year doesn't actually watch the games.

    The reason to trade Letang is not "we won without him" but "we can make a really good hockey trade and have another 1D/top 2D to take his place".
     
  25. Coach John McGuirk

    Coach John McGuirk "Hi, I'm Kris Letang"ヽ(。_°)ノ

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    Wasn't there a video of Letang training with Terrell Owens in like July? :laugh: If he's healthy enough to train with TO in July, he's probably pretty far along on the fitness timeline by the time October rolls around. I will admit though, there's a distinct difference between getting back your timings and getting back into game shape. Even so, he's had plenty of time to do both. He's just playing miserable hockey for a player of his caliber.
     
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