Today the Penguins put an end to speculation of what had been plaguing star defenseman Kris Letang by announcing that he had suffered a stroke.
Letang had missed several games with an unspecified illness, and testing found that Letang has a small hole in the wall of his heart – a birth defect that is believed may have been the cause of the stroke. Letang will be on a regimen of blood thinners for six weeks, after which he will be re-evaluated. His condition is not believed to be life or career-threatening. Letang has been cleared to vacation with his family during the Olympic break.
From the official Penguins press release:
“I hope that by making my condition public at this time, I can help other people by encouraging them to seek medical help if they experience some of the symptoms associated with a stroke – regardless of their age or general health,” Letang said. “It obviously was a shock to get the news but I’m optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice.”
“The most important thing right now, of course, is Kris’ health,” Shero said. “We’re not thinking about hockey right now. We want to make sure he gets the best possible care and gets better. After six weeks of treatment, doctors will re-evaluate Kris.”
Letang is a Norris trophy candidate and recently re-signed an eight-year contract with the Penguins during the off-season. He is a strong offensive defenseman, with 10 goals and 18 points in 34 games this season. In 419 career games over seven seasons, Letang has 54 goals and 227 points. He will be missed both on and off the ice by the organization. We here at The Pink Puck would like to join in wishing Kris Letang a speedy and complete recovery.