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NHL Trade Rumors

(UPDATE) Penguins’ Guentzel Trade by Tomorrow, 3-Way Deal? Report



Pittsburgh Penguins report card, Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel

According to TSN reporter Darren Dreger, the big deal of the NHL trade season is about to go down. According to Dreger’s sources, the Pittsburgh Penguins hope to have a deal in place for Jake Guentzel by Wednesday evening.

The Penguins’ recent slide, losing three straight, has forced president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas to abandon the hope of a playoff run. They are currently 10 points behind the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning with four games in hand. The Penguins would need to win 17 of their last 23 games to get to 96 points, which is often seen as the minimum total necessary for the playoffs.

Given the Penguins’ distance behind the playoff teams and trailing the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals beyond the margin of the games in hand, a Penguins trade seems the only logical choice.

Guentzel, 29, is currently on LTIR with an upper-body injury and is not eligible to return until March 10, but has been skating with the team. In 50 games, Guentzel has 52 points, scoring 22 goals. He’s been the most prolific winger of Sidney Crosby’s tenure. He scored 36 goals last season and 40 goals the year before.

“Pittsburgh is open to quality over quantity in return but would like a first, a young NHL player, plus prospect,” read Dreger’s tweet. “Flexibility comes in the caliber of prospect or roster player.”

The NHL trade deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. Guentzel’s six-year deal with a $6 million average annual value expires this season, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.

A subsequent report by Chris Johnston of TSN also indicated Guentzel would not sign a contract with a new team.

“The expectation is that Guentzel will be dealt by the Penguins as a rental,” Johnston tweeted. “It doesn’t sound like potential acquiring teams have shown much interest in trying to work out an extension as part of the trade.”

The Penguins host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena.

Update: Johnston also reports the Vancouver Canucks are interested in Guentzel and, as part of an attempt to acquire him, could flip Elias Lindholm to the Boston Bruins.