NHL Notes: Penguins' Kris Letang out six weeks after having stroke

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang (right) tries to control the puck while going down as...

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang (right) tries to control the puck while going down as Boston Bruins left winger Brad Marchand looks on during NHL play at TD Garden. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

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, Last Updated: 8:36 PM ET

Kris Letang will be sidelined six weeks after suffering a stroke, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced Friday.

The 26-year-old defenceman, who hasn't been on the ice since Jan. 30, suffered the incident last week. He is being treated with blood thinners, and at this point his condition is not believed to be career threatening.

Further tests revealed Letang has a small hole in the wall of his heart that has been there since birth. The defect is present in all humans before birth but normally seals shut. It's possible this hole is what led to the stroke.

"Kris had one brief episode of dizziness and nausea last week," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. "We held him out of the Los Angeles game Thursday night, and when he continued to feel ill, tests conducted in Phoenix on Saturday gave us the first indication of his condition. Further testing then was conducted when he returned to Pittsburgh, and he continued to undergo a battery of tests here this week."

Letang has missed Pittsburgh's last four games. He has been cleared to go on vacation during the Olympic break.

"I hope that by making my condition public at this time, I can help other people by encouraging them to seek medical help if they experience some of the symptoms associated with a stroke -- regardless of their age or general health," Letang said. "It obviously was a shock to get the news but I'm optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice."

Letang will be evaluated again in six weeks.

The Montreal native has 10 goals and eight assists in 34 games with the Penguins this season.

PREDS' POILE HAS SURGERY

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile underwent two successful surgical procedures in the nose and eye areas Friday to repair a facial laceration suffered Thursday when he was hit by an errant puck during the Predators' morning skate, the team announced.

The injury will prevent him from traveling with Team USA to Sochi on Sunday as planned, but he may join the American Olympic team in Russia later.

Poile was standing in a hallway at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., when he was struck by a puck after it skipped off the ice and over the boards.

Poile, who received a number of stitches during the operation, will remain in the hospital for further observation.

Poile led the selection committee that chose the players for the U.S. Olympic team.

SABRES WAIVE OMARK

The Buffalo Sabres placed recently acquired forward Linus Omark on waivers Friday.

The Sabres also demoted two rookies, forward Phil Varone and defenceman Chad Ruhwedel, to the Rochester Americans of the AHL.

Omark had two assists in 13 games with the Sabres. Omark, a fourth-round draft pick in 2007, was considered a disappointment after the Sabres gave up a conditional sixth-round draft pick to get him from the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 19.

Omark has eight goals and 24 assists in 79 career NHL games.

Buffalo is on the Olympic break after falling to the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Thursday.

JOHANSSON REPLACES SEDIN

Team Sweden announced Friday that it put Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson in place of injured Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin for the Sochi Olympics.

Johansson has seven goals and 29 assists for the Capitals, who will also be represented on Sweden's team by center Nicklas Backstrom.

Johansson has represented Sweden in previous international competition but is a first-time Olympian.

Sedin was taken off the team Thursday because he has bruised ribs.

After missing six games, Sedin returned to the ice, but he will not play in the Canucks' final two games before the NHL's two-week Olympic break that starts Sunday.

Sweden also will be without Detroit Red Wings winger Johan Franzen, who is sidelined with a concussion.

BRIEFLY

The Nashville Predators sent forward Taylor Beck to Milwaukee of the AHL. Beck has no points in seven games with the Predators ... Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne won't play Saturday in Nashville so he can rest for the Olympics. Ducks GM Bob Murray and coach Bruce Boudreau decided to sit Selanne, who will play for Finland in Sochi ... The Columbus Blue Jackets made the only deal before the NHL trade freeze Friday, sending defenceman Blake Parlett to the Boston Bruins for forward Carter Camper. Both players have spent the season in the minors ... The New York Islanders activated defenceman Travis Hamonic off injured reserve. Hamonic missed 12 games with a concussion ... Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown won't be punished further for his hit to the head of Columbus defenceman Ryan Murray Thursday. The Columbus Dispatch reported that no hearing will be held for Brown's hit.


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