Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

20 Questions With Kris Letang

The only people in town who don’t seem to be star-struck by the Penguins’ Kris Letang? His teammates.




 

 

It’s not easy being a man of style in the NHL, a league defined by the hockey-hair mullet, scraggly playoff beard, toothless smile and perpetual shiner.

It’s especially rough for the Penguins’ emerging star Kris Letang because the Penguins are a band of brothers—and, of course, no one busts each other’s chops quite like brothers do.

During the photo shoot for this article, word got out that “Tanger” was in the Penguins’ locker room cleaned up and ready for his close-up. Within minutes, tough-guy defenseman Brooks Orpik peeked his head in through the locker room doors, sporting one of those mischievous big-brother grins a la Wayne Arnold from “The Wonder Years.” Sidney Crosby was right behind him, peering over Orpik’s shoulder. Letang braced himself with a smirk.

“Oh man,” Crosby warned the photographer while pointing at Letang’s stylish denim loafers. “You better shoot him from the waist up.” Orpik and Crosby quickly closed the doors and retreated before any comebacks could be lobbed their way—their laughter echoing down the hallway.

Letang, who is just about the most down-to-earth 23-year-old millionaire you’ll ever meet, simply smiled and shook his head before saying, “Those guys ...”

 

PM: How did you spend your summer vacation?
KL: I trained all summer with Max Talbot in Montreal, working on my overall strength. On the ice, I practiced taking more shots from everywhere in the zone, making sure I hit the net.

Are you going through Stanley Cup withdrawal?
I think all the guys who won it in ’09 miss it already. Whenever you see a team win the Cup after you, it’s like, Man, they took it from us. You feel like you got your trophy stolen. I went on vacation during the Stanley Cup Finals because I didn’t want to see any of that. Right away, it pissed me off.

What happened in that Montreal series anyway?
When we show up against a team like Washington, we’re excited because we know they have a great team. We’re not too confident, and obviously, we hate those guys so much that it brings our game to another level. I think maybe we didn’t have that hatred for Montreal. We thought we were in control.

Will those bad memories fuel you this season?
We want to get revenge against every team, pretty much. We aren’t happy with the way last year ended, and I know all of the guys are fired up to drop the puck, especially in the new arena.

What’s the best part of your job?
Playing against the top lines. Going to Washington and knowing that I’m going to be matched against one of the best players in the league [Alexander Ovechkin].

Do you ever get nervous before those big games?
Not really, but Mario [Lemieux] was still playing when I had my first practice with the Penguins, and I had to do a drill with him and I was so nervous! Growing up, Mario and Jaromir Jagr were my favorite players. Luckily, Mario came over and talked to me and gave me a lot of tips. Even now that he’s retired, he still stops in our locker room all the time to make sure we’re never too nervous about a game.

You guys always seem like you’re having a blast on the ice.
We’re so young—we’re like kids in the dressing room. Even the older guys feel like they’re kids again, like they’re just playing to have fun. That’s why we’re a family, like brothers.

What’s the best prank you’ve witnessed on the road?
During Jordan Staal’s rookie year, someone took all the furniture from his hotel room and set it up perfectly in the hallway like it was his room. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. You never know who is the mastermind behind the pranks. But I have my theories.

Favorite day-off routine: Shopping at 412 in the South Side. Nordstrom. Saks.

Favorite eatery in the ’Burgh: Nine on Nine or Dish Osteria.

Most annoying roommate on the road: Myself? I don’t know (laughs).

Which Penguin throws the best parties? Max Talbot.

Closest friends on the team: Sid and Flower [Marc-André Fleury].

Worst locker-room DJ: Duper [winger Pascal Dupuis].

Pregame routine: I take a shower and try to clear my head.

Most unusual gift from a fan: Someone baked me cookies and gave them to me in the parking lot before a game. They were good, too.

Most misunderstood goon with a good heart: Daniel Carcillo from the Flyers is actually a nice guy.

The Penguins will lift the Cup this season because ... All four lines can score goals.

Message for Pens fans: Oh, I don’t need to ask them anything because they always deliver.

 

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Electric Scooter Rideshare Launching in Pittsburgh

Scoobi will offer an eco-friendly alternative to cars and a speedier alternative to bikes beginning in June

Is Kennywood's Phantom’s Revenge Best Coaster in USA?

The fastest amusement park ride in Pennsylvania is currently in the running for best roller coaster — and it’s gained plenty of speed.

Director and “Mr. McFeely” Discuss “Won't You Be My Neighbor?”

The director of the forthcoming Mr. Rogers documentary sits down with the longtime Mr. McFeely and Pittsburgh Magazine.

Pittsburgh Teen Chess Phenom to Host Her First-Ever Tourney

Chess enthusiast Ashley Lynn Priore hopes to enrich the Steel City’s involvement in one of the most classic and challenging of board games.

Hungry for Something Good, Pittsburgh? Where We're Eating in June

We're obsessed with Greekfreez vegan frozen treats, taking a first look at the new menu at Independent Brewing Company and traveling to The Tavern on the Square. Plus, we talk to Poulet Bleu pastry chef James D. Wroblewski II.

Working in a Steel Mill Turns Fantastical in 'The Glass Lung'

Pittsburgher Anjali Sachdeva’s first book blends the normal with fantasy in nine short stories.

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.

Pittsburgh Flicks and Nightlife in June

PM Nightlife Editor Sean Collier explores the popularity of Coughlin's Law on Mt. Washington and the future of Jump Cut Theater.

Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in June

The Pittsburgh music calendar is packed this month. Check out some of our suggestions for the best ways to spend those steamy summer nights.

June: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest stage plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

Undercover: What We're Reading in June

Reviews of Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker and Abandoned Pittsburgh: Steel and Shadows by Chuck Beard

Perspectives: How Cold Is Too Cold for Spiders to Live?

A former Marine and Pittsburgh firefighter comes face-to-face with his biggest fear.

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Faces Centennial Challenges

This year marks a milestone anniversary — and questions regarding the emerging digital economy — for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.

Highmark Stadium Struggles To Accommodate Music Fans

The Station Square venue could be a good place to see a concert. It's not there yet.

CMU Launches America’s First Degree in Artificial Intelligence

Starting this fall, undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon will have the option to earn a degree in one of the world’s fastest growing fields.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Electric Scooter Rideshare Launching in Pittsburgh

Electric Scooter Rideshare Launching in Pittsburgh

Scoobi will offer an eco-friendly alternative to cars and a speedier alternative to bikes beginning in June

Comments

Is Kennywood's Phantom’s Revenge Best Coaster in USA?

Is Kennywood's Phantom’s Revenge Best Coaster in USA?

The fastest amusement park ride in Pennsylvania is currently in the running for best roller coaster — and it’s gained plenty of speed.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Lorelei Will Open in the Former Livermore/Pines Space

Lorelei Will Open in the Former Livermore/Pines Space

The owners of Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor plan to bring a beer hall and cafe to East Liberty.

Comments

An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

The Strip District restaurant draws a diverse community to its nightly ifṭār buffet.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places to Introduce Children to the Performing Arts

Best Places to Introduce Children to the Performing Arts

When you see a show at one of these organizations, you may enjoy it as much as the children.

Comments

The 4 Best Sports to Try This Spring in Pittsburgh

The 4 Best Sports to Try This Spring in Pittsburgh

Looking to switch up your physical activity now that it finally feels like spring? We found four sports you can play locally that you may never have considered.

Comments


Highmark Stadium Struggles To Accommodate Music Fans

Highmark Stadium Struggles To Accommodate Music Fans

The Station Square venue could be a good place to see a concert. It's not there yet.

Comments

Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

The new escape room in Pleasant Hills is a great game for newer players.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Here We Go? Steelers Have More Than a New England Issue This Time

Here We Go? Steelers Have More Than a New England Issue This Time

At this time last year the Steelers perceived themselves, and rightfully so, as a team that was a mere win over the Patriots away from returning to the Super Bowl. This year, the focus is elsewhere.

Comments

Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

For the time being, at least, fans continue to send owner Bob Nutting a message wrapped in apathy.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The 400-Word Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The Star Wars series experiments with telling an origin story, with mixed results.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The careful documentary is a valuable document of the pontiff's philosophy. As a film, there are issues.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Wine Classes Keep the Pre-Wedding Celebration Classy

Wine Classes Keep the Pre-Wedding Celebration Classy

Palate Partners School of Wine & Spirits offers a chance for brides- and grooms-to-be to explore libations before (or instead of) a night on the town.

Comments

He Recovers from Stroke to Officiate Granddaughter's Wedding

He Recovers from Stroke to Officiate Granddaughter's Wedding

It was always Ashley Watkins’ dream to have her grandfather perform her wedding ceremony — but a serious illness almost got in the way.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
From Milan to Pittsburgh: These are the Kitchen Concepts of the Future

From Milan to Pittsburgh: These are the Kitchen Concepts of the Future

Local interior designer Lauren Levant traveled to Italy for the influential Salon del Mobile show featuring the latest innovations in the furniture and design industry. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, these are the kitchen concepts she says will be making their way stateside.

Comments

Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Thinking about starting a creative business but don't know where to start? From photography to interior design, Gamechangers, the new podcast from local textile designer Savannah Hayes, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the design industry from the female perspective.

Comments