NBC Analyst Keith Jones: More Willing To Move Letang Than Kessel

"I would would expect he would bounce back but I would be surprised if he ever played as well as he did in the prime of his career."

Joe Kapp
May 10, 2018 - 1:02 pm
Kris Letang Recaps His 2017-2018 Season

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The Pens run at a 3-peat fell short as the Caps eliminated them on Monday night with a 2-1 OT win a 4-2 series win, The fans and players are still trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

NBC Sports NHL Studio Analyst Keith Jones joined The Cook and Poni Show on Thursday to offer his thoughts and he feels the real turning point of the series was the Pens failure to hold 3rd period leads but he agrees the play of Phil Kessel has many pointing fingers including him.

"Something seemed like it was missing pretty much from the second half for Phil Kessel," Jones said. "There were moments where Phil just looked like he was disgruntled or discouraged and didn't look like he carried that same positive feel he has carried in the past...I do think Kessel underachieved but a lot of it may have had to do with how he felt about the way he was being treated."

Jones also acknowledged that a great deal of blame should be given to the mental mistakes and break down of Kris Letang and many are already tying to run him out of town.

"I would would expect he would bounce back but I would be surprised if he ever played as well as he did in the prime of his career," Jones added. "It's a 50/50 thing for me. You take the offense and appreciate all that he can do in that regards but you kind of put your hands together and pary a little bit in teh defensive zone because of the mistakes he makes."

So if the Pens and Jim Rutherford are to pull off a major deal this off season would he be more likely to deal Letang or Kessel?

"I'd be more willing to trade Letang," Jones said. "I think you would get a much better return and that would be a risk I would be willing to take."