December 23, 2017 | 11:50pm ET
PENGUINS LOOKING TO MAKE BIG SPLASH?
Kris Letang, defenceman
The Pittsburgh Penguins, having slightly tinkered with their roster earlier this week, may be looking to make a bigger move after the holiday roster freeze lifts on Dec. 27.
During the Saturday night “Headlines” segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Nick Kypreos reported the Penguins may be trying to make a big splash be moving one of their star players.
According to Kypreos, one player whose name he’s heard “being bantered about is Kris Letang.”
The 30-year-old star defenseman has four-years left on his contract, which comes with a $7.25 million annual salary cap hit. Letang also owns an 18-team no-trade list.
Kypreos questioned Letang's performance this season and prompted that as a reason he may be available for trade. Kypreos also noted the Penguins "would love to shed some salary" and moving Letang wouldn't certain help in that department, but such a trade would see the Penguins acquire a significant asset in return.
Elliotte Friedman, on the panel with Kypreos, added the Penguins would likely want two forwards, one of which would be a center, in a deal for Letang, if he were truly up for grabs.
In 37 games with the Penguins so far this season, Letang has tallied two goals and 23 assists for 25 points, which puts him on pace for the second-highest point-total of his career (55), though he also possesses a minus-15 rating.
Friedman also noted that Letang’s health is what concerns most teams and if he’s healthy enough to play consistently, it could result in a handsome return for the Penguins, should they choose to go down that road.
Several teams are looking for a top, right-shooting defenseman, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers.