NHL notebook: Letang eager to play in Quebec barnstorming games

The Penguins' Kris Letang works out in September 2012 at South Point.
The Penguins' Kris Letang works out in September 2012 at South Point.
Photo by Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, 2:02 a.m.

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is excited about the opportunity to play in barnstorming games next week in his native Quebec.

He was invited by former teammate Max Talbot, who's organizing the games between French Canadian NHL players. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury also will play.

“Practice with just your teammates gets boring after a while,” Letang said. “It will be fun to go up there and play, even if the games aren't real. Plus, it's for charity, so it's a good thing.”

Letang, who will leave Saturday and play in games next week, said he will return to Pittsburgh after a short stay in Montreal to continue training with his Penguins teammates.

He also reiterated that, once his child is born — likely in November — Letang will look for work elsewhere if NHL owners are still locking players out.

“As soon as the baby is born,” Letang said, “I'm going to start looking around. I'm going to find a place to play if the lockout goes on too long.”

Right wing Pascal Dupuis might join Letang and Fleury in Quebec, though not next week.

“Probably will consider it down the line,” Dupuis said. “It's great stuff, but I've got four kids here. They're in school. So I'm just trying to be a good dad right now.”

Center Sidney Crosby will consider future barnstorming events if invited.

“I don't know if this one makes sense right now just because of the travel,” he said. “But something like that would be cool.”

Malkin heating up

Evgeni Malkin recorded three assists, a game-high 12 shots and won 18 of 29 faceoffs during Metallurg Magnitgorsk's 7-2 victory over Neftekhimik in KHL action Monday.

Daly hopes NHL labor talks will resume this week

A face-to-face meeting between top officials from the NHL and NHL Players' Association wasn't enough to break their labor stalemate.

The sides spent almost five hours together Monday going over accounting for last season, but didn't emerge with any plan to resume negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement to end the lockout.

The topic wasn't even raised, according to representatives from each group.

Nine days into the lockout, negotiations remain on hold with owners and players entrenched in their positions.

“Obviously, we've got to talk before you can get a deal, so I think it's important to get the talks going again,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “But you also have to have something to say. I think it's fair to say we feel like we need to hear from the players' association in a meaningful way because I don't think that they've really moved off their initial proposal, which was made more than a month ago.”

Steve Fehr, the NHLPA's special counsel, declined comment following the meeting.

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