NHL

'A Penguin for life' – Pittsburgh extend Letang through to 2028 in $36.6m extension

By Sports Desk July 07, 2022

The Pittsburgh Penguins and veteran defenseman Kris Letang have agreed to a six-year, $36.6 million contract extension, the team announced on Thursday.  

The deal runs through to the 2027-28 season, during which Letang will turn 41 years old.  

"Kris epitomises what it means to be a Pittsburgh Penguin," general manager Ron Hextall said in a statement. "The role he plays on our team is irreplaceable.

"He is a leader in our locker room, and has made countless contributions to the organisation over the last 15-plus years, which includes three Stanley Cup Championships.  

"We are thrilled to make him a Penguin for life."

Letang has only played for Pittsburgh in his NHL career after being drafted by the Penguins in the third round in 2005.  

He has hoisted the Stanley Cup three times – in 2009, 2016 and 2017 – and set career highs last season with 58 assists and 68 points, helping Pittsburgh to a 46-25-11 record. 

Letang has played 941 games in a Penguins sweater, passing Mario Lemieux for third in franchise history last season.

Only team-mates Sidney Crosby (1,108) and Evgeni Malkin (981) have played more games for the Penguins.

Related items

  • Kimmich: Germany's World Cup exit 'the most difficult day of my career' Kimmich: Germany's World Cup exit 'the most difficult day of my career'

    Joshua Kimmich described Germany's humiliating World Cup exit as the worst moment of his career as Japan and Spain progressed following a dramatic Group E finale on Thursday.

    Germany began their final fixture against Costa Rica knowing a win would likely take them into the last 16 if Japan failed to beat Spain, and Hansi Flick's men held up their end of the bargain with a 4-2 victory.

    However, Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka scored as Japan staged a remarkable comeback to beat La Roja, ensuring they emerged as surprise group winners and ending Germany's bid for a fifth World Cup triumph.

    Germany have now failed to progress beyond the group stage at consecutive World Cups after doing so on each of their previous 16 appearances at the tournament, leaving Kimmich devastated.

    "For me personally, this is the worst day of my career. I'm afraid I'll fall into a hole," Kimmich told reporters. "It makes you think these failures are connected to my person.

    "This is definitely the most difficult day of my career for me. The second time being eliminated at a World Cup, in between we had the Euros, where we were eliminated early. 

    "That is bitter and there have been many missed opportunities within the last four years."

    Germany reached the semi-finals of Kimmich's first major tournament at Euro 2016, but they have since fallen at the first hurdle at two World Cups and suffered a last-16 defeat to England at Euro 2020.

    Costa Rica briefly took a surprise lead when Manuel Neuer put through his own net with 20 minutes remaining on Thursday, and Germany have now gone 12 major tournament games without a clean sheet (World Cup/Euros) – their longest ever streak.

    Kimmich's fellow midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hit out at Die Nationalmannschaft's defending as he called on his team-mates to reflect on their shortcomings.

    "We concede goals too easily, we lose balls too easily and up front we miss goalscoring chances too easily," Gundogan said.

    "Of course, as Germany, we have to have different aspirations, so we have to take a good look at ourselves. 

    "We just didn't manage to do our best as a group, or maybe individually. We have to question what the reasons were and everyone has to look in the mirror and tell themselves that it wasn't enough."

  • Costa Rica 2-4 Germany: Flick's men and Los Ticos crash out following six-goal thriller Costa Rica 2-4 Germany: Flick's men and Los Ticos crash out following six-goal thriller

    Kai Havertz scored twice but Germany made another early World Cup exit despite beating Costa Rica 4-2 in a thriller at Al Bayt Stadium on Thursday.

    Needing a victory to have any chance of reaching the round of 16, Germany secured their first win of the tournament but bow out at the group stage for a second successive World Cup.

    Serge Gnabry gave them a richly deserved early lead, but Yeltsin Tejeda equalised with his first international goal in the second half and Costa Rica were heading for the knockout stage after Juan Pablo Vargas put them in front.

    Havertz levelled not long after Vargas' goal and struck again to put Germany back in front, with fellow substitute Niclas Fullkrug then adding a late fourth goal 

    It was Japan and Spain who advance from Group E, though, with the Samurai Blue finishing top after their surprise 2-1 win over Luis Enrique's side.

    Gnabry opened the scoring only 10 minutes in, meeting David Raum's cross from the left with a glancing header that found the far corner of the net.

    Leon Goretzka's header was kept out by Keylor Navas, Musiala fired wide after turning sharply and surging into the box and Gnabry was only just off target with a right-foot drive as Germany continued to dominate.

    But Keysher Fuller almost equalised from out of the blue late in the first half, Manuel Neuer superbly tipping his shot around the post after a mistake from Antonio Rudiger.

    News of Japan leading Spain left Germany fans with hands on heads and things took another turn for the worse when Tejeda was on hand to finish from close range after Neuer could only palm Kendall Waston's header into his path in the 58th minute.

    Musiala twice struck the right-hand post and Rudiger hit the outside of the same upright as Germany desperately tried to stay alive.

    Costa Rica then stunned Germany once again by taking the lead after 70 minutes, Vargas getting the final touch when Neuer as Germany failed to deal with a ball into the box.

    Los Ticos' joy was short-lived, though, as Havertz finished clinically with his right foot soon after coming off the bench just a few minutes after Germany had fallen behind.

    Navas denied Fullkrug with a magnificent save from close range, but Havertz tucked in coolly with his left foot at the back post.

    Fullkrug looked to have strayed offside, but was awarded a second goal in as many games in the closing stages following a VAR check after he slotted in from close range, but Germany bowed out on goal difference.

  • Japan 2-1 Spain: Samurai Blue top Group E after remarkable fightback as La Roja survive huge scare Japan 2-1 Spain: Samurai Blue top Group E after remarkable fightback as La Roja survive huge scare

    Goals from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka helped Japan reach the World Cup last 16 as Group E winners with a remarkable 2-1 victory over Spain, with La Roja joining them as Germany were dumped out.

    With both sides knowing a win would see them advance, Spain wasted little time in hitting the front as Alvaro Morata headed beyond Shuichi Gonda for his third goal of the tournament early on.

    However, Spain failed to capitalise on their huge dominance of possession as Japan turned the game on its head with a quickfire second-half double, Doan firing home from range before Tanaka bundled in a second.

    Spain were briefly on their way out of the World Cup when Costa Rica took the lead against Germany in the group's other fixture.

    But Germany's late comeback in a 4-2 win ensured La Roja survived an incredible finale to go through as runners-up.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.