Kris Letang Feels It's Safe For Him To Play

Penguins Defenseman Has A Lengthy Medical History

Eric Hagman
May 28, 2020 - 4:23 pm
Kris Letang

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh (93.7 The Fan) - The health and safety of the NHL's players is the priority for the league as it prepares to resume play in July. 

Few players have a medical history as extensive--and serious--as Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.

In 2014, at the age of 26, Letang suffered a stroke.  He was also diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.  Three years ago he underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck.

Letang has no reservations reuniting with his teammates and pursuing another Stanley Cup in this most uncertain time.

"Not at all," Letang said during a video conference on Wednesday.  "I had my fair share of questions, and they have all been answered.  Certainly, I can say that I would be safe to play."

Letang believes players will need a two-pronged approach to be ready for Stanley Cup playoff games.

"I think in the phase-two informal skates it's going to be up to the players to ramp up their work and make sure they're able to simulate a conditioning style of a game. When training camp starts I think coaches will focus on the collective side of things. You don't have that much time, and you're going to get right into it.  You want to make sure that your team is top-notch.  I think it's going to be up to the players to do the work in that phase, too on the ice and off the ice."

And Letang is eager to get on the ice with his teammates.

"I don't know a special day, but, obviously, it's something I want to be a part of,"  Letang said.  "I know the Penguins always put us in the best situation to succeed and to be safe.  I think the right play is to come back and practice within our facility with our staff and our players."

Letang is the Penguins player representative, and he said the players and owners share a common goal.

"We want to grow the game and make sure we make our sport proud.  But at the same time, I think, every question about safety--which is the most important thing for everybody--that's what the focus has been on.  I think the NHL and the NHLPA agree on that.  We both want what's best for our sport and the safety of people around us."





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