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03-26-2010, 01:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
By the way, I don't think I even believe the initial rumor that Letang and his agent shot down a $3.5 million deal....The Pens have been consistent on having Gonchar as the "first domino to fall", and even though by now Shero knows what Gonchar wants, I don't seem him even offering Letang that much money at this point. Quite frankly, IMO, if Letang was offered $3.5 million he ought to jump at it, because he doesn't have too much leverage this time around.
It's not like Letang is having a breakout offensive year to prove himself to deserve that much, and since Letang doesn't have arbitration rights, there's no reason to believe a team will give him an offer sheet on July 1 that Pittsburgh couldn't match.
In this case I think Shero's holding all the cards. See how the playoffs go, watch how the Gonchar situation pans out and there's plenty of time to slow-play Letang, all he needs is a qualifying offer and the team will almost certainly bring him back.
Short of the draft picks another team would have to give up for a $3-4 million a year deal (which I think is debatable that an opposing GM would even offer), Letang's just not proven he's an elite offensive defenseman yet. He's got all the promise in the world, but he has a lot of NHL games under his belt, but not a ton of production relative to the minutes he's gotten.
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