Kris Letang

Are the Pens leaning towards trading Letang? (Updated)


Kris Letang may have played his last game for the Pittsburgh Penguins, if a pair of reports from a couple of NHL insiders are accurate.

First up is ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, who believes the Norris Trophy finalist is seeking no less than $7 million a year in a contract extension.

Would the Penguins be able to afford that, given all the money they’ve already committed to star forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal?

The Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi doesn’t think so.

In fact, Rossi reports that Pens general manager Ray Shero is “fairly confident Letang has become a must-move player.”

That is true because Letang is not the consensus best defenseman on the Penguins, at least in the eyes of management and coaches.

That is true because the Penguins are deepest on defense among top prospects, including a couple of first-round picks from last summer (Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta).

Letang, 26, finished tied for the scoring lead among NHL defenseman in 2013, with 38 points in 35 games. But it’s fair to ask how much of his point production is tied to playing on a team loaded with dangerous forwards. Is he good enough defensively to command the money he’s reportedly going to be requesting?

Only four defensemen — Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Brian Campbell, and Drew Doughty — have a cap hit of $7 million or higher.

According to LeBrun, Shero and Letang’s agent, Kent Hughes, are set to meet today in Boston. So whatever ends up happening, we may know it sooner than later.

Update (1:50 p.m. ET)

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”



Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.