Penguins’ Kris Letang suffers stroke, says he’s ‘optimistic’ he’ll be back soon

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan discusses Kris Letang's impact on the Penguins' organization and speaks about the team's high hopes for a recovery.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang will be out of the lineup indefinitely after suffering a stroke on Monday, the team announced. It is Letang’s second stroke after he suffered one in 2014.

The Penguins say in a statement that Letang’s “condition is not believed to be career threatening” and that he “is not experiencing any lasting effects of the stroke.” Letang, 35, will undergo a number of tests over the next week to give a better sense of his timeline for recovery.

“I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn’t right,” said Letang in a statement. “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.”

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Letang missed two months in 2014 after suffering his first stroke. At the time, the Penguins say, it was discovered that he has a small hole in his heart. In the time since he returned from that first stroke, he has appeared in 543 regular season games and an additional 69 playoff games, winning two Stanley Cups.

“Kris reported symptoms to the training staff on Monday and was immediately taken to the hospital for testing,” general manager Ron Hextall said. “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 UMPC. 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.”

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