Kris Letang had stroke; career not believed in jeopardy

PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang will miss at least six weeks after having a stroke, but the Pittsburgh Penguins star's career is not believed to be in jeopardy, the team said.

Letang, 26, had a bout with nausea and dizziness last week before a road trip, Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said in a release. He was tested this week in Pittsburgh. The Penguins say a hole in his heart, present from birth but only just found, may have led to the condition. He's being treated with blood thinners and will re-evaluated in six weeks.

Letang, a finalist for the Norris Trophy last season, said in the release he hoped making his condition public would encourage others to seek help, "regardless of their age or general health."

"It obviously was a shock to get the news, but I'm optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice," he said.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Letang had his episode before leaving for the Penguins' West Coast trip last week. He did not play in the first game against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, and tests continued thereafter. Bylsma said the stroke possibility was raised in Phoenix after the team left LA, but there was no certainty in Letang's condition until Thursday.

That uncertainty led to speculation about Letang's injury and, potentially, whether the team was thinking of trading him.

"We didn't really feel like we had the ability to come out and say what was going on," Bylsma said, adding that few beyond himself knew of specifics surrounding the situation until Thursday afternoon.

"I'm not sure what (the players') reaction was totally to the news, and what the news was," Bylsma said.

Letang missed time earlier this season after an infection in his elbow and subsequent operation. He has 10 goals and 18 points in 34 games and signed an eight-year, $58 million contract extension after last season.
Kris Letang had stroke; career not believed in jeopardy | agus murod | 5