Penguins defenseman Kris Letang out indefinitely after suffering another stroke

Matt Vensel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang is out indefinitely after he suffered another stroke on Monday.

The Penguins say the 35-year-old defender is not experiencing any lasting effects of the stroke and will continue to undergo a series of tests over the next week. They added that Letang’s condition is not believed to be career-threatening.

General manager Ron Hextall said this stroke was “much less severe” than the one that Letang, a six-time All-Star defenseman, suffered eight years ago.

Hextall and the Penguins stated that they will not provide further updates on Letang’s status until all testing is completed and a medical plan is in place.

After practicing Monday at Hunt Armory, Letang experienced a migraine and other symptoms after heading home for the day. He called the team’s athletic training staff, who requested that Letang be immediately taken to the hospital for testing.

“The test results were shocking to hear, but we are grateful that Kris is doing well. We are thankful to the medical staff and the physicians at UMPC,” Hextall said in a statement. “He is a warrior on the ice, but first and foremost, he is a son, father, husband and friend. His health is our number one priority.”


In 2014, Letang missed over two months due to a stroke. During that time, testing revealed that he was born with a very small hole in the wall of his heart.

“I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn’t right,” Letang stated. “While it is difficult to navigate this issue publicly, I am hopeful it can raise awareness. It is important for me that my teammates, family and the fans know that I am okay. I am optimistic that I will be back on the ice soon.”

Letang was not in the lineup for Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. But he felt well enough to attend the game at PPG Paints Arena. Letang watched part of the game with Hextall and he met with his teammates after the game.

Letang signed a six-year, $36.6 million contract with the Penguins this summer. The 6-foot, 201-pound defenseman has one goal and 12 points in 21 games this season, with a minus-7 rating. He leads the team in ice time at 23:54 per game.

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