June 21, 2024

This past weekend saw the Pittsburgh Penguins continue their terrible season as they lost to Minnesota on Friday and Winnipeg on Saturday. Since New Year’s Day, they have only won five of their previous 14 games (5-6-3), and they are presently lingering in seventh position in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh has struggled to win games even with the incredible efforts of captain and superstar center Sidney Crosby.

As a result, there has been a lot of conjecture about important veterans on the team, most notably winger and impending UFA Jake Guentzel.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Penguins are reportedly seeking a very high price for Guentzel. Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas is reportedly hoping to acquire a first-round draft pick as well as a better-than-average prospect or young NHL player in exchange for Guentzel. Guentzel trails Crosby in points (51), and he is second on the Penguins in assists (29).

As the NHL’s March 8 trade deadline approaches, it appears less likely that Guentzel will sign a new contract, and teams will pay more for him if they receive word that he would be willing to sign one. Even if Guentzel is simply a rental player for the rest of this season, his $6 million salary cap hit would not be enough to support every team, but a team like the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, or New York Islanders would greatly benefit from having Guentzel.

In a manner that the Penguins aren’t these days, all three clubs are competitive for the playoffs. Pens management will have done a good job if Dubas can start a bidding war for Guentzel’s services and they can get back a first-round pick and a younger player or prospect. Guentzel’s departure from Pittsburgh would undoubtedly hurt. The 29-year-old has been a mainstay and Stanley Cup winner with the Pens, but many fans would rather see him stay with the team that picked him 77th overall in the 2013 draft for the rest of his life.

However, in the NHL, athletes like that are becoming fewer and farther between. Organizations will inevitably see roster change, thus Pittsburgh’s inability to compete at the highest level this season—despite Guentzel’s outstanding play—is a serious concern for their present and near-term prospects. Dubas must decide whether to let Guentzel go, and he must defend his decision to Crosby as well as to other players like Erik Karlsson, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin, who all stayed with the team knowing the Pens planned to be a Cup contender. However, the team is unable to continually draw on a competitive well that has essentially run dry.

Should Pittsburgh’s system contain several outstanding young players, the Penguins may have sufficient justification to hold onto Guentzel and keep strengthening their core. However, the Pens have a short list of great prospects due to moves made in previous years, which means Dubas and his crew are about to face a difficult decision. When the team’s path appears more pointless with each game, he cannot afford to keep moving in the same way.

 

Guentzel has served the Penguins well as a soldier, but occasionally that is insufficient to keep teams committed to all of their best players. Here, it’s about starting to close the book on Pittsburgh’s Cup-winning run. Moving Guentzel now appears to be inevitable. The only thing left to determine is which team the Pens will deal Guentzel to after their collective troubles.

Jake Guentzel Update : r/penguins

1 thought on “JUST IN: Jake Guentzel should be moved by the Penguins if the teams can afford it.

  1. He plays with Sidney Crosby! Give us a break! He scores off Crosby passing! Not skating, not puck handling and not with his size! He wants a few more million then give up on him! Good offensive player! Lousy defensive player To small for the new NHL Goon play! Didn’t make the All Stars and is only who he is because he plays with Sid!

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