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NHL Trade Rumors

Report: More Teams Interested in Acquiring Reilly Smith?



NHL trade rumors, Reilly Smith Pittsburgh Penguins

While the big name drawing interest and plenty of speculation on the NHL trade market is Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel, another Penguins winger may be drawing more interest.

According to Daily FaceOff’s Frank Seravalli, formerly of TSN, Reilly Smith is drawing broader interest than Guentzel.

This season, Smith has struggled with the Penguins amid reports that he’s not as happy in Pittsburgh as he was with the Vegas Golden Knights, where he was an original Misfit.

“I’ve gotten some intel, the idea that the Penguins have received more interest in terms of teams, not saying return, but in teams on Reilly Smith than Jake Guentzel,” said Seravalli on Sportsnet 590 in Toronto. “There are a lot more interested parties when it comes to Reilly Smith … which I find fascinating. (Guentzel) is a point-per-game player in four of the last five years and is the premier impact rental forward available, and it’s not really close.”

Guentzel, 29, is again a point-per-game player this season, notching 52 points and scoring 22 goals in 50 games. He’s currently on long-term injured reserve and cannot play until March 10, completing his 24-day, 10-game LTIR absence.

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Guentzel is a pending unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas acquired Smith from the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights at the NHL Draft in late June. He was seen as a replacement for Jason Zucker, who signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

Teams would likely ask the Penguins to hold back some salary. Smith has one more season remaining on a three-year contract that carries a $5 million average annual value.

However, after a hot start, Smith has greatly cooled. In the 16 games since Jan. 2, Smith has just two goals and five points. In his last 40 games, he has just four goals. Coach Mike Sullivan elevated Smith to Sidney Crosby’s left wing in Guentzel’s absence. However, Sullivan demoted Smith to the third line during the Penguins’ 2-0 loss to the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Thursday.

In fact, Smith did not play in the final minutes of the second period and played just 14:33.

“(Guentzel) is a clutch scorer. He led a postseason in goals,” concluded Seravalli. “To think that teams aren’t lining up to get this guy is kind of interesting.”

You can watch the full segment with Seravalli on Kyper and Bourne on Sportsnet 590 here.