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Kris Letang, Penguins Agree to 6-Year, $36.6M Contract Extension Before Free Agency

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 7, 2022

AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Defenseman Kris Letang and the Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms on a new contract.

The Penguins announced on Thursday they have agreed to a six-year, $36.6 million deal with Letang.

Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins

PENGUIN FOR LIFE! <br><br>The Penguins have agreed to terms with defenseman Kris Letang on a six-year, $36.6 million contract extension.<br> <br>Details: <a href="https://t.co/QyYvtPAm3v">https://t.co/QyYvtPAm3v</a> <a href="https://t.co/UeONaY63EN">pic.twitter.com/UeONaY63EN</a>

The 35-year-old has played his entire 16-year NHL career with Pittsburgh, appearing in six All-Star Games and winning three Stanley Cups. He's amassed 144 goals, 506 assists and 650 points for his career.

Letang signed an eight-year, $58 million contract extension in 2013 that expired following the 2021-22 season.

It appeared his Penguins future could be in jeopardy in March, when Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported the two sides were far apart on trade talks:

Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli

Ice Breakers πŸ§ŠπŸ’ Checked in on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/pens?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#pens</a> and their UFAs ahead of the trade deadline. It doesn't impact their trade deadline plans, but PIT and Kris Letang appear to be far apart on term in talks.<br><br>Latest on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LetsGoPens?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LetsGoPens</a> Letang on <a href="https://twitter.com/DailyFaceoff?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DailyFaceoff</a>:<a href="https://t.co/8T8swtkes3">https://t.co/8T8swtkes3</a>

"There are big gaps to bridge in the City of Bridges – particularly with Letang," he wrote.

"The two sides are far apart on terms. Sources say the ask from the Letang camp was for a five-year deal with an AAV that starts with a $7 (million). The Penguins, we’re told, are simply not willing to entertain Letang on a deal of that length."

However, negotiation obviously improved significantly, and now the Montreal native will stay in Pittsburgh with a strong chance to remain a Penguin for life.

There could have been a move by Pittsburgh's front office to retool the roster after the team's first-round playoff loss to the New York Rangers.

Instead, the Penguins' long-term commitment to Letang suggests they are more than comfortable running things back with the nucleus they had last year. It's a good group that finished third in the Metropolitan Division with 103 points.

Letang is one of just four Penguins to have played at least 16 seasons with the team, along with Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

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