evil shero hockey

Trade Letang! by @evil_shero

7:56:00 AMPaul

April's warm embrace comes ever closer and the snow gives away to green sprouting buds, NHL trade rumors grow ever stronger. This has become a hot topic on twitter about what to do with the NHL's leading defenseman come this summer.

Kris Letang 2050

Letang as of today is arguably the best value in the entire NHL making only 3.5mil a year with the Pens.

So with his contact coming to an end the question comes up, "What does Shero do with Kris Letang?"

Shero has made it clear that it is his priority to re-sign Letang and Malkin when they are available to field offers July 1st. He said the same about Crosby and Neal last year and he did just that. 

The biggest objection is the money Kris will likely earn in his next deal. With Erik Karlsson making an average 6.5 cap hit with the Senators, it can be argued that he's worth that much and possibly even more. It' common knowlege that the Penguins have about 10 million worth of cap space this summer to do with what they please. 

We would have to guess that FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD that Kennedy has played his last game with the Pens, which frees up 2mil. I would love for the Penguins to retain Dupuis, Adams, and Cooke who are UFA this summer. Eaton is a UFA too but I consider him a non-factor really with salary and roster space. Depending also on what Shero wants to do with RFA Bortuzzo and Jeffery which I can only assume that he would sign them for close to what they are earning now.

I'm going to make the wild assumption that Shero will have 12 million this summer to play with by letting Kennedy walk and upping the contracts of the UFA's for close to what they are earning now. This could all change come trade deadline with new players acquired and new contracts to carry. 

These are the Top 10 cap hits for defensmen in the NHL. As of today Kris Letang is top in d-man scoring.

In fact he is one of the best in Points per Game in the passed 3 years.

My intention is to use those stats to determine his worth. I would have to make a guess that 7mil is reasonable doubling his previous contract with the Penguins. So with TK leaving and Letang's contact being upped 3.5 million will only take a 1.5mil bite out of out 12 million dollar toy budget this summer to leaving us 10.5 in space to keep Malkin around for a long while. Now just imagine if we hung onto Michalek, things would be a little tighter or if we snagged Parise? Malkin may have been a serious risk of leaving with that heavy Parise contract.

How ya doin', Zach?

ouch ....
So I think we can afford him and I think the stats prove that he is one of the BEST defenseman in the NHL. So why trade him? 

Some places are already trolling our fanbase with headlines like this from Yahoo! Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Rumors Begin, but Team Has Insurance for Letang in Simon Despres which only mentions Letang's departure in contingent of the Penguins trading for Blue Jacket's Jack Johnson. That whole rumor began due to Rob Rossi needing some attention and no one wanting to eat lunch with him.

No words ...

The real person we should listen to is the Blue Jacket's GM himself Kekalainen was quoted "“It’s silly,” he said. “I went to watch a game. Ray Shero (the Penguins’ general manager) is a friend of mine.”

Some less than knowledgeable people mentions Kris Letang's "composure" all the time. 8 PIM?. That's good for 362nd in the league!! That means 361 players are less composed than Letang. I don't know any other way to rank/rate/judge "composure". If you are not composed do you or do not not get penalized for it?

Gosh Letang did this over 300 days ago? Do we still care about this? The Pens were down 3-1 and lost the game 8-4. 

I've also heard the arguement that Letang needs to be better defensively. So does THE WHOLE TEAM. We are 21st the in the league in goals against and 1st in goals for. Letang takes the most ice time out of the entire team with 26 mins average per game. You can't put that on one person.

(all stats accurate as of 3/11/13)

  1. Time on Ice -1st
  2. Shots for Defenseman - 1st (7th on team)
  3. +/- for Defenseman -1st 
  4. Points for Defenseman - 1st
  5. Blocks for Defenseman - 2nd
Tough to replace? Do we really need a winger for Sid?

I'm fully aware that the one missing piece is a stay at home nasty defenseman that will keep people out of our crease and make players pay for being in the face of Fleury but thinking that we need to trade Letang to do so is well ... ridiculous.

There is no doubt that a Letang trade will yield some of the most coveted players on any team and they probably won't care about his NHL 4th most giveaways.

This is undoubtedly my opinion but the stats don't lie. I welcome any feedback.

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