Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall announced that defenseman Kris Letang would be out indefinitely after suffering a stroke. The veteran six-time All-Star suffered a stroke in 2014, causing him to miss two months. Fortunately, Letang has played 543 regular-season games and made 69 playoff appearances since the last time this occurred.
In a statement on the Penguins’ official Twitter account, Hextall shared, “I’m shocked at how well he’s doing emotionally and how well he seems to be taking it. This is much less severe than what happened eight years ago. There’s a lot of comfort in that. We will do as many tests as we need to do. First and foremost, this is about the person, the father, and the family member. The hockey player and Pittsburgh Penguin is secondary. He’s a terrific human being and one tough SOB.”
Letang himself added that “I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn’t right. While it is difficult to navigate this issue publicly, I am hopeful it can raise awareness. It is important for me that my teammates, family, and the fans know that I am okay. I am optimistic that I will be back on the ice soon.”
In the 2022-2023 NHL season, Letang averages the highest ice time of any Penguins defenseman (23:54). While health concerns have plagued the veteran for years, including numerous concussion issues, he is still very much the key cog in the Pittsburgh defense. Hopefully, Kris Letang will return to action soon and undergo a speedy and successful recovery.