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Jake Guentzel Loves Carolina; Details on Painful Penguins Injury

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Pittsburgh Penguins trade, Jake Guentzel

It was an upper-body injury that kept Jake Guentzel out of the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup for a few weeks, but nothing serious.

Right?

The Athletic’s Michael Russo recently did a feature story on Guentzel and the Carolina Hurricanes’ run in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The story contained a couple of nuggets that might specifically interest Penguins fans, including the severity of Guentzel’s injury.

Russo reported:

“Guentzel broke some ribs, and his oblique muscle ripped right off the bone.”

Ouch. You can read the full story here.

Many Penguins fans have held hope that Guentzel, 29, would return to the Team on July 1, when he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent. It would be the ultimate heist, with the Penguins receiving a few prospects and draft picks and eventually Guentzel skating in the same spot he spent the first seven years of his career, beside Sidney Crosby.

Such a reunion is unlikely as Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas admittedly strives to make the team younger, and Guentzel will be 30 next season. In addition to the two sides going in different directions, Guentzel seems to be adapting quite well to Carolina and the situation.

The Penguins trade was, in all probability, the end of the line for Guentzel in Pittsburgh. And if you’re curious, AFP Analytics’s recent calculations projected Guentzel’s next contract to be six years with an average annual value of $8 million.

He scored just one goal in the five-game opening-round victory over the New York Islanders, but he had been a scoring machine since donning a Hurricanes sweater.

The left-winger had 25 points (8-17-25) in just 17 games with Carolina, proving once and for all that he’s hardly dependent on Crosby for offense.

And he seems pretty happy.

“Look at this place … The weather’s great, the team’s great. Great players. A great coach, and we play a style where there’s no ice, no room when you play us,” said Guentzel to Russo.

“The city’s great, the fans are amazing. This is a great hockey place. What’s not to like?”