Hugo Stiglitz wrote:
Here's the main issue: You don't pay a defenseman top league money for all the issues you've explained that he has.
When Letang brings his A-Game he's a game-changer...but he doesn't bring his A-Game consistently. If your'e going to spend $7M+ on ANY player, it better be for one who performs at an elite level more times than most.
well, then there's Malkin. And a whole host of inflated contracts around the league that seem to make little sense, but yet still create the economic environment of the league. So the gamble is will Letang continue to improve and mature as a player, and will player salaries and the cap continue to rise over the next 8 years to make this contract seem "reasonable"? I'd bet yes.
I agree with you for the most part. I remember when everyone was freaking out about the Gonchar contract and then everyone thought it was a bargain when he improved.
Will Letang get better???
Letang is 26 years old. He's still young and will continue to learn and grow.
Is his contract inflated?
IMO, No it's not. Other teams around the league would have paid more, but I don't think we need Letang or his contact, nor do I think he needs to be replaced.
This team has all the defensive tools without Letang to be effective. As long as this team is held to a higher standard a made to play responsible hockey, they won't have any issues. The problem is nobody on this team (including forwards) are held accountable for not joining in the defensive play.
Is Malkin's contract inflated?
I don't think you can fairly draw a parallel between Letang and Malkin just because they're two players this year who aren't delivering the way they should and are making a ton of money. Malkin has far more accomplishments in this league than Letang and has proved his worth more IMO.
The argument you can make though is do the Pens NEED Malkin? If Malkin finds his game again(which I'm sure he will), he's a luxury the Pens have that make them heads and tails better than the rest. If he banishes himself into average play, we don't need him and he should be traded for someone who costs half the price and brings the same game.