Connect with us

NHL Trade Rumors

(UPDATED) Penguins, Hurricanes Close to Guentzel Trade; Bunting Scouting Report



pittsburgh penguins, jake guentzel

Buckle up. The NHL trade rumors should get thick tonight. The Carolina Hurricanes, thought to be part of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jake Guentzel trade sweepstakes, make a curious lineup choice Thursday night. The Hurricanes announced overachieving winger Michael Bunting was scratched for “trade releated” reasons.

Sportsnet Elliotte Friedman went further on X, confirming that Bunting “is thought to be part of the package” for Guentzel.

TSN Reporter Pierre LeBrun noted he expected a trade call after the Penguins and Hurricanes finished their respective games, though cautioned the trade was not yet done.

READ MORE: More on the Hurricanes top prospects, who might be included in the deal. What the Hurricanes can offer in the Guentzel trade.

Bunting has a relationship with Penguins president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas that predates the pair’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bunting played two years with the Soo Greyhounds (2012-2014) of the OHL while Dubas was the Soo’s general manager.

When Dubas was the Toronto general manager, he signed Bunting to a two-year, $1.9 million contract.

Bunting, 28, well out-performed the bargain contract, notching 63 points with 23 goals in 2021-22 and 49 points with 23 goals in 2022-23.

The 6-foot, 185-pound winger signed a three-year deal with Carolina on July 1, which carries a $4.5 million salary cap hit. Bunting has only 36 points with 13 goals in 60 games this season.

Bunting is somewhat streaky but a puck battler who blossomed later in his career. On paper, he might have a nice symmetry with Sidney Crosby and the low game his line plays.

The news broke as the Penguins were in warmups for their game against hated rival, the Washington Capitals, at PPG Paints Arena.