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CBC NHL Insider Friedman: Pens, Letang Taking Business Personally

Kris Letang

(Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Talks between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Kris Letang have reportedly hit a snag, and CBC Hockey Night In Canada reporter Elliotte Friedman tells Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan’s Vinnie & Cook he thinks emotions are running too high on both sides.

Some of the emotions seem to be stemming from Letang’s reaction to a report that some members of the Penguins organization do not believe he is the team’s best defenseman.

“Letang, from what I understand, is a very emotional guy,” Friedman says. “I think, like everybody in Pittsburgh, he was terribly frustrated by the way the season ended. He feels he has really worked hard to address the weakness of his game and improve as a player. I think he felt insulted by what was insinuated in that article.

“Before somebody does something they might regret, they’d both better take a deep breath and hammer this out. I think it’s the best thing for the organization and the player that this gets figured out in the next couple of days,” he added.

If Letang is dealt away, will the Penguins be a better team without him?

“You’re never debilitated when you’re the Penguins,” Friedman says. “You’re always going to be able to find guys who will come there for less money, either to win or because they know they’re going to have great statistics playing with these guys. But, it’s going to be hard for Pittsburgh to make a trade with Kris Letang where they’re not going to be giving up the best player. Letang had 16 points in the first two rounds of the playoffs this year as a defenseman. Think about that for a second! Those are really hard to find.”

Friedman also shares his theory on whether a ‘no-trade’ clause may be the issue, what the future could hold for Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke, and whether he believes Letang will still be a Penguin by Monday.