Pens defenseman Kris Letang has been cleared to go on vacation with his family during the NHL’s Olympic break a week after suffering a stroke (Full release on Letang’s stroke here).
Right now, the team is only concerned about Letang’s health and well-being, while hockey takes a backseat.
“My conversations over the last three days with Kris haven’t had much to do with the power play, that’s for certain,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “More over just concern for Kris the person and his health and where he’s at, not even in his career, just where he’s at in a health standpoint.”
Letang, 26, will be on blood thinners for the next six weeks. At that point the doctors will do a re-evaluation of his progress.
“He’s I believe on blood thinners until the six-week mark and then going to be re-evaluated,” Bylsma said. “He’ll be monitored the whole time, but I don’t know if there’s a series of steps. I don’t think there’s a one, two, three that he has to go through during the six-week period of time. He’ll be back here in Pittsburgh at that time and hopefully move on to something different after those six weeks.”
Bylsma did not know if Letang would need surgery to close the hole in his heart, which doctors believe caused the stroke.
Letang is expected to return to Pittsburgh and resume skating on his own following the Olympic break. Letang will also address the media at that time.
But those steps are well down the road. For now, Letang is spending time with his family away from hockey, as he should.