Penguins re-sign Kris Letang to 6-year, $36.6 million contract

The team announced on Thursday afternoon that it has re-signed the defenseman to a six-year contract for a total of $36.6 million per season.

That’s a salary cap hit of $6.1 million per season, which is actually less than the $7.25 million cap hit on his previous deal and probably about $2 million less than what he’d received on the open market in a few weeks.

Letang was eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. “Chris explains what it means to be a Pittsburgh Penguin,”

general manager Ron Hextal said in a statement to the team. “The role he plays on our team is irreplaceable, he is a leader in our locker rooms

and has made countless contributions to the organization over the past 15-plus years, including three Stanley Cup championships. We will cherish him for a lifetime. Thrilled to be making penguins.”

The six-year tenure is an eye-opener for the 35-year-old defense personnel, but here are a few things to note.

The first is that Letang is still an elite defender and is coming off one of the best seasons of his career.

He still ends up in the top-10 in Norris voting and is still one of the Penguins’ most important players. As long as they still want to compete (and they clearly do; and should), he was their best option so far

trading in a painlessly thin free agent crop for the defenseman and for replacements. with some property.

it also helped reduce the salary cap number by giving him a longer tenure, which is extremely important to the Penguins as they try to re-sign not only another franchise icon (Evgeny Malkin)

but also make necessary improvements elsewhere in the roster. Obtaining a rescue worker of Letang’s caliber for less than $6.5 million against the cap, regardless of his age, is a steal in the short term.

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