Kris Letang Reveals Thoughts On Erik Karlsson Taking Over Top Power Play Unit

Two elite puck-movers, both right-shot Ds, and both have become accustomed to being the quarterback on the first power play unit. So is Pittsburgh Penguins' incumbent No. 1 blueliner, Kris Letang, feeling a bit uncomfortable about the addition of Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson?

Not a bit.

I love the addition, to be honest. 

Trust me, every coach in the NHL wants an Erik Karlsson. Every coach in the NHL wants Crosby and Malkin on the power play. Now imagine if you have all of them. 

If they ask me to play in the pocket, if they ask me to play [in the left circle], on top, net front, it doesn’t matter. Just as long as we can sit down in a room and make it work out together. That’s all we need to do.  

Letang, in his chat with Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, added that it was the classy way that new boss man Kyle Dubas broke the news to him that has him super pumped about the move.

The new GM first called Letang when trade discussions with the San Jose Sharks picked up earlier in the summer. “He goes, ‘I’m not looking for approval, but how do you see this fit?’” Letang said. “It would be unbelievable,” was Letang's response.

“What I can say," continued the Penguins' 17-year veteran, "is that [it meant a lot to me] that he called me and said, ‘Kris, I’m going to be upfront with you. This is what I’m trying to do,’” Letang said. “And he explained it and said, ‘I want you to be able to raise another Cup. And the best player that is available in a trade right now is Erik Karlsson.’”

How head coach Mike Sullivan works it all out, and figures out how those two co-exist on the ice remains to be seen, but it sure will be fun to watch it unfold. 

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports