The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Wednesday that defenseman Kris Letang is out indefinitely after suffering a stroke on Monday.
“Kris reported symptoms to the training staff on Monday and was immediately taken to the hospital for testing,” said general manager Ron Hextall. “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. 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.”
Letang is not experiencing any lasting effects of the stroke and will continue to undergo tests in the coming week. His career is not believed to be in jeopardy.
“I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn’t right,” said Letang. “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.”
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan shared his initial reaction to hearing the news, but was encouraged to hear his star defenseman will be okay.
"We're all concerned for Kris, because we care about him, you know? Stroke is a scary word," Sullivan said. But from all the preliminary tests to this point, it appears that this one was much less severe than his last one, which is very encouraging."
The 35-year-old suffered a stroke in 2014 and missed over two months of action. At the time, tests revealed he was born with a very small hole in the wall of his heart. Since his return from the stroke, Letang has played 543 regular season games and made 69 playoff appearances.
Letang has put up one goal and 12 points in 21 games this season. In 15 seasons with Pittsburgh, Letang has recorded 145 goals and 517 assists in 962 regular season games. He is the franchise’s all-time leader among defensemen in regular season and playoff games played, goals, assists and points.
He helped lead the Penguins to three Stanley Cups in 2009, 2015 and 2016.
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