Letang deal with Penguins still in limbo
The Penguins knew this July 1 would be quieter than in previous years.
But this one was really quiet.
Kris Letang's contract remains in limbo almost 48 hours after an agreement nearly was reached. Forwards Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Craig Adams, Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow moved another day closer to unrestricted free agency.
The free agency signing period, which usually begins July 1 but has been moved back because of the season-delaying lockout, begins Friday.
Negotiations between general manager Ray Shero and Letang's agent, Kent Hughes, produced a monetary agreement during NHL Draft weekend in New Jersey.
However, a snag remains.
Letang wants a verbal guarantee that he will not be traded during the next 12 months should he sign the eight-year deal that the Penguins have offered. The contract would give Letang $7.25 million per season. It also would give him leverage with a limited no-movement clause, meaning he could be traded to 15 teams of his choice.
The catch is that the no-trade clause wouldn't be effective immediately. It is stated in the collective bargaining agreement that movement clauses may not be included in previously signed contracts, and the Penguins can't buy out the final year of Letang's most recent deal, which pays him $3.5 million annually.
Rather, the contract they are negotiating serves as an extension, as the Norris Trophy nominee must play out the final year of the four-year, $14 million deal.
This is different than deals negotiated by Shero with stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Although they still had one year remaining on their previous contracts, Crosby and Malkin immediately were permitted to trigger the no-movement clauses because they already had played out their years of restricted free agency.
Letang will not have accomplished that until the end of the 2013-14 season.
Shero and Hughes plan to meet again before Friday. The Penguins would like to have this situation cleared up before focusing their attention on a list of would-be free agents.
Three of the Penguins' impending free agents comprise the core of the team's penalty-killing unit. That group, which underachieved in the regular season but thrived in the playoffs, could have a different look next season.
Dupuis, Cooke and Adams are arguably the team's three best penalty killers. All could be gone in a matter of days, should Shero be unable to sign them.
Center Jordan Staal, who once joined the three free agents in coach Dan Bylsma's top four penalty-killing look, was traded last summer.
The Penguins still are involved in negotiations with Dupuis' agent, Allan Walsh. Although no deal has been reached — and Dupuis possibly could make more money on the open market — Walsh and Shero continued speaking Monday.
Shero also will be speaking with Adams' agent, Neil Sheehy, in the next few days.
Although Shero and Sheehy did not speak Monday, the agent expects talks to resume later this week. The Penguins would like to bring Adams back to play in the fourth-line role that has been his since he was claimed off waivers from Chicago in 2009.
Staff writer Rob Rossi contributed. Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins GM insists new coach Johnston was no afterthought
- Penguins goalie Fleury likely to enter season without new contract
- Penguins alumni rally to help Mitch Wilson, who is fighting ALS
- Penguins coach says team needs to ‘lessen the load’ on Crosby
- Now healthy, Penguins’ Bennett eyes bigger role
- Penguins backup goaltender Zatkoff eyes new challenge with team
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Pens’ Johnston hopes to `lessen the load’ for Crosby