The Pittsburgh Penguins held defenseman Kris Letang out of Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets as a precaution. Prior to the game coach Mike Sullivan said that Letang “wasn’t feeling great this morning.”
The team appears to be downplaying the situation, calling it “precautionary.” Yet, Letang, a player with a concussion history, took a hit from the Minnesota Wild’s Jarret Stoll on Saturday that, while the initial point of contact was the shoulder, saw Letang get hit in the head. Letang went down and left the game. But the team ultimately allowed Letang to come back into the game Saturday.
With that being Letang’s first game back from an undisclosed injury and him having a history of concussions, it seemed odd that he would come back into the game, knowing that you can’t instantly diagnose a concussion by having him sit for a few minutes in the locker room.
Letang waking up not “feeling great,” sounds a little concussion-y from the very little information we have. That’s speculation, but it seems like that should have been the first concern after the hit on Saturday and sending him back into the game makes it look like the possibility of a concussion wasn’t the top concern.
Here’s a look at the hit from Saturday.
Stoll will not have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for the hit. Stoll was assessed a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head on the hit.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.