He is out with a lower-body injury.
Letang, who is tied for second among NHL defensemen in scoring with nine points, is averaging 25:07 of ice time for the first-place Penguins. He had an assist during 25:19 in Tuesday's 4-2 victory at the New York Islanders and did not visibly appear to be physically hindered.
After he prematurely left the morning skate, Letang was not available to the media. Coach Dan Bylsma, as is his policy, did not comment.
The Rangers captain suffered the injury during a tussle with Philadelphia Flyers forward Max Talbot on Jan. 29. Doctors told Callahan the following day he would miss 10-14 days with the injury, but he is making his return nine days after the prognosis.
The dynamic of the sport has changed significantly since Feb. 7, 1976, but that doesn't mean fantasy owners around the world aren't imagining the potential impact of a double-digit point effort. Considering how far a single multi-point game goes in determining head-to-head league results, a 10-point effort from a single fantasy player would almost certainly lead to a matchup victory during a particular week -- especially if it came in such balanced fashion as Sittler's (6 G, 4 A).
This brings us into the discussion of which players, based on both single-game and career point-production, would be most likely to challenge Sittler's seemingly untouchable mark. While one can make a case for many players around the League as candidates to reach that plateau in one game, here are five active players who could treat their fantasy owners to such a performance for the ages.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have already played this season, but this is the first time that Raffi Torres and Marian Hossa have shared the ice since Torres ended their seasons with an illegal hit to Hossa's head in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series last spring.
Hossa spent months recovering from the hit, while Torres was suspended for 25 games -- later reduced to 21 -- for the transgression. This is Torres' third game back after the suspension and he has vowed to change his reckless ways on the ice after being suspended or fined six times in his career.
"We have to protect the top players in the League, and if it's going to take me kind of thinking out there instead of running around with my head cut off, then that's what it’s going to take," said Torres, who called Hossa to apologize for the hit. "At the end of the day, I need to keep playing. This is what I do, and if I want to keep playing I'm going to have to change my way."
PITTSBURGH -- Dylan Reese was born in Pittsburgh approximately two months after the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Mario Lemieux and a little more than two months before Le Magnifique made his NHL debut.
Reese said it's no coincidence he became a professional hockey player.
"I grew up here watching the Pens, and I'm a product of the early Stanley Cups in '91 and '92," the newest Penguins defenseman said Thursday. "It's really a dream come true to be up here playing -- and hopefully playing in the new building here with the Penguins, so I'm excited."
Reese was recalled from Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wednesday night and joined the Penguins for their morning skate the following day in advance of their game against the Washington Capitals.
There is no guarantee he will be in the lineup Thursday -- coach Dan Bylsma traditionally has been loath to shake up a winning formula, and the Penguins have won four straight -- but Reese is hoping he'll have his chance to make an impression soon.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The road has been a safe port for the Toronto Maple Leafs early in the season.
The Maple Leafs (5-5-0) have used a 4-1-0 start on the road to offset a 1-4-0 at Air Canada Centre. They continue a three-game trip at MTS Centre against the Winnipeg Jets. Toronto is fresh off a 3-2 road win against the Washington Capitals and will finish its journey with a stop at Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday evening.
"Obviously, you've got to focus on the start," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said of facing a Jets club that has established a solid presence on Winnipeg ice. "Usually when you have success on the road, your first period is an indicator of where your game is at. You always want to establish a good start.
"We're just asking for the contribution to be more than ordinary from everybody. Ordinary is not good enough for us. We have to be better than ordinary."
However, the Toronto lineup remains rather battered. Mike Brown, Carl Gunnarsson and Joffrey Lupul are injured, though Carlyle said Brown’s return could be close. Gunnarsson remained in Toronto, where he is rehabilitating a hip injury.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- A 3-2 overtime win Tuesday night for the Winnipeg Jets eased the flow of breakdowns that plagued them on a three-game road trip last week.
Now the Jets (4-4-1) have a Thursday night date with the Toronto Maple Leafs at MTS Centre to try to mitigate further some of the damage from the 0-3-0 sojourn. With a road visit to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday followed by home meetings with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, the Jets need to start collecting points.
The Jets will not be receiving any injury relief against Toronto, however. Zach Bogosian nudged closer to an eventual return from offseason wrist surgery and participated in his first morning skate of the season with the Jets. However, Jets coach Claude Noel said afterward that Bogosian remains "a ways away" from making his season debut. Dustin Byfuglien also participated in the Jets' morning skate, but he will miss his fourth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury.
The team announced via its official Twitter account Thursday that it has lifted the suspension placed on the defenseman after his failure to report to the team.
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That's today's game. That's one of the things you have to deal with when you're a championship team. Guys are going to earn more money based on their performance and what they've achieved, [and] deservedly so. [Saad] falls into that category.