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Penguins defenseman Letang healthy, ready to go

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang joined NHL Live to discuss how he's feeling after recovering from a stroke sustained last season and to provide his thoughts on the Penguins under first-year coach Mike Johnston.

Letang, 27, missed 26 regular-season games after having the stroke. He returned for the final three games and played 13 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The summer went really well," Letang said. "It was a summer for me when I had to push harder to see if my body was ready to enter a new season, making sure my body was going to react well to the level that we play at. We did all the tests possible. In the gym I kind of pushed myself and I think it went really well.

"For me, the fact that I'm just able to play again, it changed everything. Every time I come to the rink I think it's a great opportunity to do what we love to do and you never know when it can stop. Obviously I want to enjoy every moment of it."

Entering the first of an eight-year, $58 million extension signed last July, Letang is looking forward to playing in Johnston's up-tempo system, where he will be looked upon as a leader on defense with veterans Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi.

"It's been a big change but it's really exciting to start a new season with a fresh start and obviously a new face for our team," Letang said.

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