Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/14/13 at 01:48 PM ET
Kris Letang will have UFA status July 2014.
from Craig Custance of ESPN (paid subscription),
As of Thursday afternoon, Letang's camp hadn't heard from Shero but anticipated that negotiations would get serious within the next week.
In his comments to the media on Thursday, Shero made it clear that his priority is to sign Letang, but he didn't completely rule out a trade. It's going to come down to negotiations and how much of a discount Letang is willing to provide Pittsburgh to stay with that group. If he hits the market, his ticket would be huge.
As a free agent, the starting point would be $7-8 million per season at max length. To stay in Pittsburgh, it may have to be an eight-year deal closer to $6.5 million. Letang understands that the best deal will come on the open market; it's just finding out how big the difference is going to be. Those are conversations the two sides still need to have. And executives around the league will be watching closely.
The feeling from those I spoke with on Thursday is that Letang will sign an extension with Pittsburgh. It's a similar situation to Staal in that the best move would be to trade him if there's not a deal to be struck, but it's different in that the Penguins don't have two other world-class defensemen already on the roster the way they did at center last year.
"He's just entering the prime of his career," one Western Conference executive said of Letang. "He's an impact defenseman who generates offense, plays on your power play and is a competitive guy. They're going to try to get something done. These are hard players to find."
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