The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Wednesday that Kris Letang will be out indefinitely after suffering a second stroke.
General manager Ron Hextall said the defenseman reported symptoms on Monday to the training staff and “was 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 UPMC. 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.” The Penguins said the stroke is not considered to be “career threatening” and that Letang “is not experiencing any lasting effects of the stroke and will continue to undergo a series of tests over the next week.”
The 35-year-old Letang suffered his first stroke in 2014, missing more than two months as a result. According to the Penguins, it was discovered through testing that there was “a very small hole in the wall of his heart,” which he was born with, and closes on its own in most cases. Said Letang: “I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn’t right. 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.”
Over the last eight years since his first stroke, Letang competed in 543 regular-season matchups and made 69 playoff appearances. This season, he leads the team for playing time and has tallied one goal and 11 assists.