Penguins notebook: Letang misses practice, but could play today
January 17, 2016 12:00 AM
Kris Letang was hurting after the Tampa Bay game, but has a chance to suit up today.
By Seth Rorabaugh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will be a game-time decision today for a home contest against Carolina.
Letang was injured late in the second period Friday in a 5-4 overtime loss at Tampa Bay. Playing a puck off his end boards, Letang was hit by Lightning right winger Ryan Callahan and appeared to jam his right arm or hand against the glass.
Letang finished the second period. He missed a handful of shifts to start the third, but eventually returned and completed the game.
“A lot of pain,” Letang said to reporters in Tampa after the game. “Checked with the doctors to make sure I was not putting myself at risk. We’ll get further tests on it.”
He did not participate in practice Saturday and was not available to media. After practice, coach Mike Sullivan said Letang was still being evaluated and he did not have definitive results on his prognosis. Sullivan declined to specify the nature of the injury.
End of road for Perron
David Perron’s tenure with the Penguins came to an end Saturday when he was traded to the Ducks as part of a deal that netted left winger Carl Hagelin in return.
Acquired Jan. 2, 2015, from Edmonton in exchange for a 2015 first-round pick and left winger Rob Klinkhammer, Perron had a fast start with the Penguins last season as he racked up 12 points in his first 16 games with the team. He was unable to sustain that production and could only muster 10 points in his final 27 games of the season. His struggles continued this season as he had 16 points in 43 games despite ample playing time with centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
“I don’t know what happened the last part of last year,” said general manager Jim Rutherford. “He played a big part in us ultimately making the playoffs because he scored some key goals when we first got him and he had a good run and good production. Then it dropped off at the end. This year, I think he’s worked hard. I think he’s played OK. He didn’t have any luck around the net. He probably should have twice as many goals as he has right now, but it didn’t work for him. Maybe a fresh start with a new team, maybe that changes for him.”
Also heading to Anaheim as part of the trade is defenseman Adam Clendening. Acquired last offseason along with center Nick Bonino and a draft pick in a deal that sent center Brandon Sutter and another draft pick to Vancouver, Clendening struggled to find regular playing time with the Penguins.
After a strong preseason that drew strong reviews from coaches, Clendening was limited to nine games and one assist in the regular season. He had not played an NHL game since Dec. 19 and recently spent two weeks on a conditioning assignment with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.
His departure could open up playing time for defensive prospect Derrick Pouliot.
“[The Ducks] have some injuries there, so they were looking to add a defenseman,” Rutherford said. “We were OK with it because we want to start to make room for Pouliot. He’s getting closer here.
“[Clendening] didn’t seem to get a lot of time with either [Sullivan or former coach Mike Johnston]. We were OK with giving him a chance somewhere else.”
Rutherford declined to give an estimate as to when Pouliot could be recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but indicated his return is near.
“No time frame, but his development is going very well,” Rutherford said. “And he’s getting closer to us seeing him here in a game.”
Seth Rorabaugh: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @emptynetters.
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