When the Pittsburgh Penguins face the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night, they will officially start the second half of their season.
If you were to hand out mid-season awards, defenseman Kris Letang would probably not only be the Penguins’ first half MVP (and with all due respect to the great season Sidney Crosby is having, Letang probably has been their best), he would be one of the top contenders for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defender.
Other than Mark Giordano in Calgary and maybe Morgan Rielly in Toronto, there probably has not been anyone around the league that has impacted their team from the blue line as much as Letang has this season.
What makes it even more noteworthy for Letang is that the 2017-18 season was so brutal for him.
He was coming off of another significant injury that robbed him of half of the 2016-17 season and he was never really 100 percent at any point in the year.
That resulted in a terribly inconsistent year that was probably his worst full season performance in the NHL. Given that it was coming on the heels of the team winning its second consecutive Stanley Cup, and this time without him playing a major role due to missing the entire postseason with the aforementioned injury, it started another round of “Should the Penguins trade Kris Letang?” chatter around Pittsburgh and the league.