After missing the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ last four games with an injury that had caused serious nausea and dizziness, hockey fans around the world have been worrying heavily about the health of Kris Letang. With the announcement from the Penguins on Friday afternoon that the former Norris Trophy candidate had suffered a stroke, all of the sporting world has been sent into a state of shock and given a reminder just how precious life is.
Thankfully Letang is reportedly not in danger of having to retire at the premature age of 26-years-old, and the Penguins must be applauded for taking the precautionary tests that easily could have been pushed back or not done at all. These tests identified the fact that the 26-year-old has a hole in his heart which reportedly played a role in the stroke and very well could have been the main factor. Now the team and player must wait and cross their fingers for the next six weeks as Letang is being put on blood thinners for this time before once again being re-evaluated.
For his part, Letange told Sporting News that,”It obviously was a shock to get the news, but I’m optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice.” Additionally he encouraged other people who suffer from heart conditions to seek help, “regardless of their age or general health.”
Of course this type of illness and serious news is nothing to scoff at, and one can only hope that Letang ensures that his long term health is secured before returning to the ice either this season or in future years. As a big time sporting figure he has the potential to encourage many other people to seek and receive the type of treatment that can prevent deaths and can lead the way in showing that public health is more important than winning the Stanley Cup.