Letang was offered an eight-year contract
at around $54 million (total), sources told the Tribune-Review. The
Penguins' proposal contained little wiggle room, and the club would like
to get a response — even in the form of a counter offer — by the
weekend, the sources said.
Free agency begins July 5, and the
Penguins do not want to arrive at that date without resolution on
Letang's future, the sources said.
The Penguins are agreeable to paying Letang slightly over $7 million annually, sources said.
Letang, who is set to count at $3.5
million against the salary cap next season, can negotiate an extension
under terms of the NHL's new labor contract.
If he accepted the Penguins offer, Letang
would rank no worse than sixth among current defensemen with about a
$6.75 million salary-cap hit. The offer to Letang could be considered
the third most lucrative to retain a player in Shero's seven-year
Shero has said since January that signing Letang to a long-term contract is a top priority.
However, Letang's situation is seemingly playing out similarly to the one faced by center Jordan Staal last summer.
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