April 17, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter (middle) celebrates with defenseman Matt Niskanen (2) and defenseman Kris Letang (58) after Sutter scored a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
WILMINGTON, DE–Late last week, the Flyers were pretty eager to wrap our former captain, complete with a bow, at 4 years $21 million and in addition–wait for it–a no trade clause!
We love you Mark and appreciate the fact you took a chance coming to the Island when nobody else would, but we will let our brethren over at Broad Street Buzz deal with that contract. ::snickering::
So with that being said, let’s talk Kris Letang Islander Fans!
The Skinny as I See It
With the departure of Streit, the Isles have an opening on the blue line. What a great way to fill that hole this summer, by trading for the rights to Kris Letang and locking him up long-term.
Could you imagine starting the 2013-14 season, the playoff excitement still lingering, watching the Isles take to the ice opening night with such a high-profile acquisition such as Letang.
Letang has improved every season he has been in the league, offering great speed and offensive skill, which is something the Isles blue line could use to get deeper into the tournament next year. He averaged more than a point per game, scoring five goals and recording 33 assists in 35 games.
This pipe dream all depends on what the league’s top GM Ray Shero decides to do with Letang and his contract. The 26-year-old defenseman has one year remaining on a 4 year , $14 million contract, which brings with it a $3.5 million cap hit.
At this point it seems Shero has a few options: sign Letang to an extension, sit tight and do nothing, possibly allowing him to walk after playing out his contract, or he tries to trade him this summer.
"When you look at all the possible scenario’s that could play out with this situation, it all comes down to what is going on in Shero’s head."
As thrilling as it might be to watch Kris Letang come out of the tunnel in blue and orange, we need to take a step back and think about it from the Pens perspective.
Do we really think Shero would trade him to an up-and-coming team within his own division?
That remains to be seen, but history tells us you can never say never.
Last summer we saw him deal center Jordan Staal, in a near-identical contract situation, after he rejected a ‘take it or leave it’ offer by the Pens. In return they netted a first-round pick, a roster player, and a top prospect in his stead.
With the above-mentioned in mind, would the Isles be willing to give up the 15th pick in this years draft, a throw-in player and possibly Nino Niederreiter, for arguably one of the top three defenseman in the league?
Better yet Islander fans, would you be able to accept such a deal, giving up the aforementioned for a better (much better), younger version of Mark Streit?
When you look at all the possible scenario’s that could play out with this situation, it all comes down to what is going on in Shero’s head.
Does he break the bank for Letang, but by doing so invest a huge part of his cap space on four players? The other three players being Sidney Crosby, newly signed Evgeni Malkin and James Neal, or does he pull the trigger on a deal this summer sending Letang and his rights elsewhere?
As always all of us here at eyesonisles would love to know what you guys are thinking!!