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 Battle of The Hollywood

Dormont's historic Hollywood Theater faces an uncertain future after news of a potential sale prompted an immediate public furor.

Three Rivers Champion: Cecile Springer

A self-proclaimed “loudmouth,” Springer says her favorite part of volunteering is meeting other people and persuading them to do what she wants them to do.

Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Reviews of "Phantom Thread," "Call Me By Your Name," "Den of Thieves" and new animated releases, plus local movie news and notes.

Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

What is Pittsburgh's best breakfast joint? Dive bar? Yoga studio? Local singer? Meteorologist? It's time to nominate your local favorites in multiple categories.

Amazon Includes Pittsburgh in its Top-20 List for HQ2

The list of 20 was narrowed from 238 proposals Amazon received in October. So which other cities made the cut?

Restaurant Review: or, The Whale

The Downtown restaurant is a captivating, if costly, catch.

Celebrating 5 Pittsburghers Who Built Careers Behind the Bar

Pittsburgh is a city that celebrates its neighborhood bars. In some of those spots, second- and third-generation regulars are pulling up their stools to be served by someone who started pouring drinks decades ago.

Second Chances: Crossroads in the Kitchen

People working to overcome substance abuse problems and ex-offenders discover a welcoming environment in restaurant kitchens.

How to Pamper Yourself in Pittsburgh

Looking to beat the winter doldrums? We round up the best places and experiences for a little personal indulgence.

Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

The Tongdee family now operates Burgh Thai in Verona.

The Growing Popularity of Shooting a Clay Pigeon

Skeet shooting is taking off as a favored western Pennsylvania hobby.

Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Until they solve it, the Steelers are more of a Fantasy League team than they are a Super Bowl team.

New series ‘$1’ to be filmed in Pittsburgh

The mystery thriller is latest to cash in on the city’s filming opportunities.

Andrew McCutchen: Thanks for the Memories

It's hard to overemphasize McCutchen's impact on the Pirates and its fan base.

How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

A lot of grooms-to-be propose on Mt. Washington. Not many decorate beforehand.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Amazon Includes Pittsburgh in its Top-20 List for HQ2

Amazon Includes Pittsburgh in its Top-20 List for HQ2

The list of 20 was narrowed from 238 proposals Amazon received in October. So which other cities made the cut?

Comments

New series ‘$1’ to be filmed in Pittsburgh

New series ‘$1’ to be filmed in Pittsburgh

The mystery thriller is latest to cash in on the city’s filming opportunities.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

The Tongdee family now operates Burgh Thai in Verona.

Comments

Bitter End’s Chicken Dinner Fundraiser

Bitter End’s Chicken Dinner Fundraiser

Chefs Becca Hegarty and Rick Easton to cook comfort food to help Hegarty’s mother.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

What is Pittsburgh's best breakfast joint? Dive bar? Yoga studio? Local singer? Meteorologist? It's time to nominate your local favorites in multiple categories.

Comments

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Here are some of our favorite ‘Burgh-inspired gifts for him, her, kids, foodies and more.

Comments


The Battle of The Hollywood

The Battle of The Hollywood

Dormont's historic Hollywood Theater faces an uncertain future after news of a potential sale prompted an immediate public furor.

Comments

Tequila Cowboy: Fine For Some, Apparently a Bad Idea for Others

Tequila Cowboy: Fine For Some, Apparently a Bad Idea for Others

The bar, which hosted a bizarre incident involving a top Steelers coach, is fine enough for the post-collegiate set.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Until they solve it, the Steelers are more of a Fantasy League team than they are a Super Bowl team.

Comments

Steelers Must Avoid ‘Captain Ahab’ Approach to the Jaguars

Steelers Must Avoid ‘Captain Ahab’ Approach to the Jaguars

The Patriots are to the Steelers what Moby Dick was to Captain Ahab and that kind of obsession can backfire.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Reviews of "Phantom Thread," "Call Me By Your Name," "Den of Thieves" and new animated releases, plus local movie news and notes.

Comments

The Post is Quite Good, I, Tonya is Even Better

The Post is Quite Good, I, Tonya is Even Better

Reviews of "The Post," "I, Tonya" and "The Commuter," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

A lot of grooms-to-be propose on Mt. Washington. Not many decorate beforehand.

Comments

These Elaborate Proposals Were Sure to Get a “Yes”

These Elaborate Proposals Were Sure to Get a “Yes”

Thinking of popping the question? Take a note from these grooms-to-be who set the bar high.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Downtown is booming as plans develop for yet another new apartment building.

Comments

Lesson Learned: How Design Changed a North Allegheny Classroom

Lesson Learned: How Design Changed a North Allegheny Classroom

Frustrated by his sterile white classroom, teacher Greg Geibel earned an A+ from students when he transformed the space into something resembling a modern coffeehouse.

Comments