Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang says he’s feeling better after suffering a season-ending concussion in late March and, what’s more, is fully confident he’ll be ready to play by the start of next season.
The 28-year-old defenseman has suffered multiple concussions, a stroke and has a history of migraine headaches. However, he hasn’t considered having his career cut short by head injuries.
“No concern,” he said. “I’m on my way to coming back. I’m just going through the protocol. I’ll be back on the ice. I missed only a bunch of games once, when I got (a concussion) in Montreal (in 2011). I never missed time for a concussion after that. I’m not really scared.”
Letang said he will be ready for next season.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “Oh yeah. Right from training camp.”
Letang missed the Pens’ final six games of the regular season with the concussion, and all five playoff games in an opening-round loss to the Rangers. Prior to getting hurt he was having a banner campaign — a career-high 54 points in 69 games — and was averaging more than 25 minutes a night.
Needless to say, his injury was a crucial blow to the Penguins (along with Olli Maatta and Pascal Dupuis, both of whom also suffered season-ending injuries.) This is part of the reason why Pittsburgh is reportedly giving head coach Mike Johnston and GM Jim Rutherford another kick at the can — CEO David Morehouse said he’s “never given any consideration” to replacing the pair, citing the team’s man games lost to injury as a big reason why it slumped down the stretch and won just a single playoff game before getting eliminated.