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Penguins' Kris Letang Out Indefinitely After Having Stroke on Monday

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 30, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 26:  Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in action against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the game at PPG PAINTS Arena on November 26, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is out indefinitely after suffering a stroke Monday, the team announced Wednesday.

Letang also suffered a stroke in 2014 and missed about two months of the season before returning in time for the playoffs.

The Penguins announced the 35-year-old is "not experiencing any lasting effects" from the latest stroke and "will continue to undergo a series of tests over the next week."

"Kris reported symptoms to the training staff on Monday and was immediately taken to the hospital for testing," general manager Ron Hextall said in a statement. "The test results were shocking to hear, but we are grateful that Kris is doing well."

Letang previously discussed the circumstances surrounding his stroke in 2014 when he was 26 years old.

"I woke up and my wife found me on the ground," he said. "The day before I was totally fine. I was practicing. I woke up that morning not expecting that would happen."

Testing at the time revealed a hole in the wall of Letang's heart, which usually closes for most people.

Letang has been productive since returning to the ice eight years ago, playing 543 regular-season games since his initial stroke. The 17-year veteran has earned two All-Star selections in his career while helping the Penguins win two Stanley Cups.

Last year, he scored 10 goals to go with a career-high 58 assists while finishing seventh in voting for the Norris Trophy.

Through 21 games in 2022-23, Letang has one goal and 11 assists while leading the team with 23:54 average time on the ice.

Now the player will step away from the sport while focusing on getting healthy.

"While it is difficult to navigate this issue publicly, I am hopeful it can raise awareness," Letang said. "It is important for me that my teammates, family and the fans know that I am OK. I am optimistic that I will be back on the ice soon."