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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Letang

Kristopher Letang
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Born April 24, 1987 (1987-04-24) (age 22),
Sainte-Julie, QC
Height
Weight 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Right
NHL team Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Draft 62nd overall, 2005
Pittsburgh Penguins
Playing career 2006 – present
Letang during his time with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Kristopher Allen Letang (born April 24, 1987, in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL).


Playing career

Letang played major junior for the Val-d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL for three seasons. After recording 32 points in his junior rookie season, he was named to the QMJHL and the CHL All-Rookie Team.[1] That summer, he was drafted in the 3rd round, 62nd overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The next season, a 68-point effort in just 60 games earned him QMJHL First Team All-Star honours.[1]

Making the Penguins out of training camp, Letang made his NHL debut in the 2006–07 season. He scored his first NHL goal in his third game, against Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders in a 6-5 win.[2] However, after two goals in seven games, Letang was scratched twice and then returned to Val-d'Or for further development.[3] Playing in his third season with Val-d'Or, Letang led the Foreurs to the 2007 QMJHL Finals with 31 points in the post-season, only to be swept by Lewiston in four games. Upon the Foreurs' elimination, he was assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL), who was in the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs,[4] and recorded an assist in his only game. At the season's end, he was the recipient of three major QMJHL awards. In addition to receiving the Emile Bouchard Trophy, as the best defenceman, and the Paul Dumont Trophy, as the best personality, Letang also received the Kevin Lowe Trophy, as the best defensive defenceman, indicative of Letang's abilities on both ends of the ice.

After beginning the 2007–08 season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Letang was quickly recalled by Pittsburgh after recording 7 points in 10 games in the minors. Letang excelled in his rookie season with Pittsburgh, and was invited to the 2008 NHL YoungStars Game during All-Star weekend along with teammate Tyler Kennedy.[5] He completed the season with 17 points in 63 games, sixth among rookie defencemen. Making his NHL playoff debut, Letang helped the Penguins to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals where they were defeated in six games by the Detroit Red Wings.


Going into the 2008–09 season, the Penguins' top two defencemen, Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney were both put on the long-term injured reserve, immediately increasing Letang's responsibilities on the team's blueline. He was placed on the Penguins top defensive pairing with Brooks Orpik, replacing Gonchar.[6] The increased playing time resulted in a 10-goal, 33-point season, leading all team defencemen.[7] During the season, Letang was also invited to his second NHL YoungStars Game during the 2009 All-Star weekend in his hometown of Montreal, playing for the Sophomores team.

After the Penguins eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, Letang scored his first career NHL playoff goal in game three of the second round against the Washington Capitals on May 6, 2009, in overtime.[8] Letang's playing status for the game had been uncertain due to a suspected shoulder injury resulting from a Mike Green hit received in game three.[9] Nevertheless, his game winning goal cut the Capitals' series lead to 2–1, helping Pittsburgh overcome the initial 2–0 series deficit and win in seven games.

Letang won the Stanley Cup on June 12, 2009, with the Pittsburgh Penguins. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena. Letang had one goal in the series, in Game 3.
International play
Medal record
Competitor for Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 2007 Sweden
Gold 2006 Vancouver
IIHF World U18 Championships
Silver 2005 Czech Republic

Letang debuted internationally for Team Canada in his junior rookie season during the 2005 World U18 Championships in the Czech Republic. Letang scored 4 points in 6 games in a silver medal effort, losing to the United States in the final.

The next two years, Letang competed in the World Junior Championships, earning gold in 2006 and 2007, as part of a current five-year Canadian championship run. He won the first gold medal with Team Canada in Vancouver as the host country, then returned the next year in Sweden to score 6 points in 6 games as team captain.[1] Letang was named to the tournament All-Star Team, along with national teammates Carey Price and Jonathan Toews.


Awards

Major Junior

* Named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team in 2005.
* Named to the CHL All-Rookie Team in 2005.
* Named to the QMJHL First All-Star Team in 2006 and 2007.
* Awarded the Emile Bouchard Trophy (best defenceman) in 2007.
* Awarded the Kevin Lowe Trophy (best defensive defenceman) in 2007.
* Awarded the Paul Dumont Trophy (QMJHL best personality) in 2007.

NHL

* Played in the NHL YoungStars Game in 2008 and 2009.
* Won the Stanley Cup in the 2008-2009 NHL season with the Pittsburgh Penguins

International

* Won the World Junior gold medal (Team Canada) in 2006 and 2007.
* Named to the World Junior All-Star Team in 2007.


Personal life

Letang lost one of his closest friends, Luc Bourdon, who was a defenceman for the Vancouver Canucks, in a motorcycle accident on May 29, 2008. Letang was at the time playing in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. He and Bourdon had been teammates in junior with the Val-d'Or Foreurs and the Canadian junior team. He had been planning on buying a motorcycle but decided against it following the death of Bourdon.[10]

Career statistics
Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Val-d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 70 13 19 32 117 — — — — —
2005–06 Val-d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 60 25 43 68 156 5 1 5 6 20
2006–07 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 7 2 0 2 4 — — — — —
2006–07 Val-d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 31 13 35 48 56 19 12 19 31 48
2006–07 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL — — — — — 1 0 1 1 2
2007–08 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins AHL 10 1 6 7 4 — — — — —
2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 63 6 11 17 23 16 0 2 2 12
2008–09 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 74 10 23 33 24 23 4 9 13 26
NHL totals 144 18 34 52 51 39 4 11 15 38
[edit] International statistics
Regular season
Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2005 Canada U18 6 2 2 4 20
2006 Canada WJC 6 1 2 3 2
2007 Canada WJC 6 0 6 6 12
Junior totals 18 3 10 13 36
[edit] See also

* Team Canada at the 2006 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships


References

1. ^ a b c "Kris Letang". Hockey Hall of Fame. http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/SearchPlayer.jsp?player=21680. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
2. ^ "Crosby scores in closing seconds to give Pittsburgh 6-5 win". International Herald Tribune. 2006-10-12. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/10/13/sports/NA_SPT_HKY_NHL_Roundup.php. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
3. ^ "Staal staying with Penguins". Sporting News. 2006-10-30. http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=143507. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
4. ^ "Baby Penguins pick up Letang". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2007-05-10. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07130/784985-61.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
5. ^ "Letang, Kennedy selected to play in YoungStars game". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2008-01-16. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08016/849504-61.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
6. ^ "Heavier load for Letang". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 2008-10-13. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_593007.html. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
7. ^ "2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins [NHL"]. Hockeydb.com. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000502009.html. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
8. ^ "Caps tie late but Letang rescues Penguins in OT to cut series lead to 2-1". ESPN. 2009-05-06. http://espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=290506016. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
9. ^ "Letang's OT goal gives Pens 3-2 win". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2009-05-06. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09127/968393-61.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
10. ^ "Penguins' Letang loses best friend in Bourdon". TSN. 2008-05-30. http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=239260&lid=headline&lpos=secStory_main. Retrieved 2008-11-28.

[edit] External links

* Kristopher Letang's NHL player profile
* Kristopher Letang's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
* Kristopher Letang at TSN.ca
* Kristopher Letang's biography at Legends of Hockey

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