Pens' defense welcomes back Orpik, but Letang departs with injury
The Penguins are trying to get under the NHL's $64.3 million salary cap.
Injuries are complicating that situation, but not limiting their roster movement.
Defenseman Kris Letang did not practice Saturday because of a lower-body injury, coach Dan Bylsma said after a practice in West Point, N.Y.
Letang, a Norris Trophy finalist as the top defenseman last season, will not practice Sunday and is scheduled for a medical re-evaluation when the Penguins return to Pittsburgh on Monday, Bylsma said.
Bylsma added that he was not sure of a timetable for Letang's recovery.
A projected lengthy absence would provide the Penguins an option of placing Letang on the long-term injury (LTI) list. That designation would require him to miss 10 games and 24 days, but it would allow the Penguins to temporarily shave Letang's $3.5 million from their salary cap.
The Penguins also could place injured backup goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) on LTI, a move that would free $2 million in cap space until Vokoun's return.
Any LTI designations would allow the Penguins to safely sign forward Chuck Kobasew, who was to be offered a one-year contract this weekend. Kobasew, in camp on a tryout contract, must make at least $550,000, the veteran minimum.
All clubs must be in compliance with the cap when rosters are set at 23 players Monday.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
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