Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has been ruled out indefinitely after suffering a stroke earlier this week, general manager Ron Hextall announced in a news release on Wednesday (November 30).
Letang, 35, had previously missed six weeks of action due to a stroke he suffered during the 2013-14 season before being cleared to return in March 2014.
The Penguins said Letang isn't experiencing any lasting effects of the stroke and is scheduled to undergo more testing during the next week, but his condition isn't believed to be career threatening.
"Kris reported symptoms to the training staff on Monday and was immediately taken to the hospital for testing," Hextall said. "The test results were shocking to hear, but we are grateful that Kris is doing well. We are thankful to the medical staff and the physicians at UPMC. He is a warrior on the ice, but first and foremost, he is a son, father, husband and friend. His health is our number one priority."
The Penguins won't release any additional information until Letang's testing has concluded and a medical plan is set.
Letang has appeared in 543 regular season games and 69 postseason games since his initial stroke eight years ago when doctors also found a small hole in the wall of his heart.
"I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn't right," Letang said. "While it is difficult to navigate this issue publicly, I am hopeful it can raise awareness. It is important for me that my teammates, family and the fans know that I am okay. I am optimistic that I will be back on the ice soon."
Letang recorded 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 21 appearances during the 2022-23 NHL season, averaging a team-best 23:54 in time on ice.