The Kris Letang contract neogitation hostage crisis of 2013 is now over. Lines have been drawn. After every mistake one side is going to mock the contract, after every goal or decent play the other will act like Kris Letang is Bobby Orr's illegitimate grandson.
Kris Letang is a hell of a hockey player. Top four dman don't just simply come around every year. He has speed, he hits, and he can score. He controls the Penguins offense for better or worse when he is on the ice.
After watching Duncan Keith slalom through the Bruins in the Stanley Cup final, I'd never let Letang go if I could avoid it. He will learn from what happened, and he will get better.
That is why this contract is good to us. If Letang puts up 70+ points for eight years who isn't happy? If he learns from his playoff flame outs, dear god what can he become?
It is a good hedge bet by the Penguins that Letang can put up big numbers, and that is why the dished out the cash.
The move also makes visible the core of the Penguins. Malkin, Crosby, and Letang were drafted, developed, and now run the show. This signing marks the begining of an era. A decade of Crosby, Malkin and Letang chasing a cup.
There is a division amongest Penguin fans.
1. The people that love Kris Letang unconditionally.
2. The people that compliment Kris Letang then say..."but..."
Example: "Kris Letang is fantastic, but....even George Zimmerman thinks he needs composure."
As good of a bet it is that Letang will score 60+ points a year, there is still some concern. Half of Letang's contract is based on what he has done, which isn't bad. The rest of the contract is for what he can" hopefully do."
What threw us off for awhile was Malkin and Crosby both deserved unlimited money. They've won MVP awards, scoring titles, etc. Did Letang do as much in his position?
7.25 million for a defenseman that has never cracked 60 points, has one Norris nomination and crosschecks linesman, hmmm.
The Letang Gang will tell you not to worry about it, but it is a legit concern. It isn't trolling, it isn't hating Letang, it is just a concern.
And that is all the bad there is, really.
Open question, if Letang never reaches over 50 points in the next eight years, is this contract a massive mistake?
The answer awaits in 2021.