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Do The ‘Letang To The Canadiens’ Rumours Have More Legs Now?

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Montreal Canadiens

Pittsburgh Penguins veteran defenseman Kris Letang isn’t exactly a hot name in NHL trade rumours right now but with the chances of him hitting the unrestricted free agent market getting stronger, Letang is once again being linked to the Montreal Canadiens. Could they actually have legs this time?

With news breaking, via TSN Insider Pierre Lebrun, last week that Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is planning on being a player in the UFA market in July, plenty around the NHL once again tried to connect the dots to see if maybe, just maybe the longtime rumours of ‘Letang to the Habs’ could come true. Not only is there a very real chance that the 34-year-old Montreal native could become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his NHL career, but his longtime agent just happens to be Hughes.

Factor in that Hughes has been open about his desire to bring in leaders for the young developing core of the Montreal Canadiens and Letang is once again being asked about potentially playing for his hometown team. As he always has though, the three-time Stanley Cup champion is just shrugging off such chatter and rumours.

“That noise been in my ear for eight years, so it doesn’t really matter. You know, at the end of the day, I’m like, 34-years old. I’ve been through those things. It doesn’t really bother me anymore,” Letang laughed when asked by our colleague Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now. “Whatever happens, happens. You know, it’s out of my control for right now. And I just want to focus on what’s important-that’s our team this year and trying to win a championship.”

“And that’s it.”

Except, this time, it doesn’t exactly feel like that’s it. As Kingerski has reported numerous times, what was once thought of as nonsense in Pittsburgh, is becoming more realistic by the day. Kris Letang may very well be playing out his final season with the only team he’s ever known. From Kingerski after Kris Letang addressed the media on Wednesday:

“Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Letang were supposed to ride into the sunset together.

That was the top priority per GM Ron Hextall last summer.

But a new administration, a new owner, and an evolving situation have clouded the future.’

McLean's Pub

 

 

That’s part of the reason my MHN partner-in-scribe, Marco A’Mico listed Letang as a top target for the Montreal Canadiens on the NHL Free Agent market recently. From Marco this past Monday:

“With only David Savard as a right-shot defenseman signed through the 2022-2023 season, the Canadiens could take advantage of the Cap squeeze in Pittsburgh to lure Letang back home on a two or three-year deal.

The veteran blueliner would immediately be able to act as a mentor to the plethora of young defensive prospects that will be coming up through the ranks in the next couple of years, such as Kaiden Guhle, Alexander Romanov, and more. He would fit exactly in what the Canadiens want to achieve in changing their style; as Letang is known for his high-tempo offensive game.”

More than ever before, the ‘Letang to Montreal’ rumours seem to have some actual legs.

 

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Dylan (The guy with poutine as his profile pic)

This actually makes quite a bit of sense. There’s a lot of left handed defensive prospects in the pipeline, and adding a veteran presence like Letang to the right side could be a smart move for the development of the younger guys. Petry gets shipped out for value, Letang comes in for “free”. Basically upgrading your defense for receiving picks and prospects. I like it. If they do this, though, they need to remember Mailloux will need proper development as well.

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