The Pittsburgh Penguins apparently will start the 2023-24 season without first-line left winger Jake Guentzel.
He underwent surgery Wednesday to repair an injury to his right ankle, according to an announcement from the team, and will be re-evaluated in 12 weeks.
There was no immediate word on the precise nature of his injury or detail of how or when it was suffered.
He had been playing in Da Beauty League in Minnesota, where he put up three goals and three assists while appearing in three of his team’s five games, for the second consecutive summer.
Guentzel’s operation was performed at Twin Cities Orthopedics in Minnesota.
“As Jake continued to increase the intensity of his preparation for the upcoming season, it was apparent that his ankle injury was not resolving in a way that was satisfactory to him or the Penguins,” president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas said, in a statement released by the team.
“In collaboration with Jake, his representative, Ben Hankinson of Octagon Sports, the Penguins medical team led by Dr. Dharmesh Vyas of UPMC Sports Medicine and Dr. (Chris) Coetzee (who performed the operation), it was decided that surgery would be the best way to ensure Jake would be at his best in 2023-24.”
Guentzel, who had 36 goals and 37 assists in 78 games in 2022-23, is entering the final season of his five-year contract, which carries a salary-cap hit of $6 million.