Scary news from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, as defenseman Kristopher Letang will now be sidelined indefinitely after suffering a stroke on January 29th in Phoenix.
Letang has been out of the line-up since the event and had only been listed as out day-to-day with a mysterious illness, but the details were finally disclosed before the Olympic Break.
The team sounds optimistic that Letang will be able to play hockey again this season, as he will have a 6-week break to get all of his vitals in order, but I would imagine that it their target of a return in six weeks is a soft target, certainly nothing they intend to push.
With an Olympic-imposed 3-week break ahead of the team, the impact of this loss won't be as great, but there will be a significant impact when it is all said and done.
In 38 games played this season, Letang scored 10 goals and added 8 assists, dealing with minor bumps and bruises already this season. As of Friday morning, Letang ranks 335th in pool scoring, certainly nowhere close to where he was projected to be this season. A rough season getting all kinds of worse.
There is never a good time for something like this to happen, but Stuart's team was looking to make something out of a season that wasn't going to give him any money, as he currently stands 2nd in the third segment's standings only a few points out of 1st place. A quick recovery for Letang may keep him in the race, but he won't be coming anywhere near the regular season glory of the top half of the pool, as he's mired in 21st place.