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Jake Guentzel to the Chicago Blackhawks? NHL Insider Thinks So…

Could Jake Guentzel go to the Chicago Blackhawks in NHL free agency on July 1. It sounds off the board, but one NHL insider likes it.

NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman recently speculated on the possibility of Jake Guentzel joining the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent. Speaking on The Jeff Marek Show, Friedman shared, “My surprise July 1st pick is Jake Guentzel to Chicago… that was my off-the-board pick.”

Friedman highlighted Guentzel’s Midwest roots and Chicago’s need for skilled players to complement their young phenom, Connor Bedard. “Jake Guentzel is a Midwest guy, and Chicago is a Midwest location. They need players to play with Bedard. It doesn’t seem insane to me,” he remarked.

Jake Guentzel Hurricanes NHL

Some will argue that Guentzel will likely only look at contenders, but there is something to be said about the combination of thinking long-term, taking a big contract, and playing close to home. The Blackhawks are expected to be aggressive in building around Bedard and their upcoming prospects. Despite some fans’ concerns about adding experienced players, Friedman emphasized the importance of introducing a winning culture and accountability to the team. “If you lose for too long, you become a loser,” he said. “The Blackhawks need to push forward and build a culture of accountability and winning. You need some vets to show those guys the way who can actually play a top-six role.”

Guentzel In Chicago With Bedard Would Be Fire

Guentzel would indeed be a fantastic addition to the Blackhawks. The winger is coming off his third consecutive 70-plus-point campaign, splitting the 2023-24 season between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes. His 77-point season (30 goals, 47 assists) highlights the type of production the Hawks desperately need alongside Bedard.

While Guentzel has expressed his appreciation for his time with the Hurricanes, he acknowledges the business aspect of his pending unrestricted free agency. “I love it here. It’s a great place to play. The guys make it good too. We’ll see what happens,” he said. “This team can win a Stanley Cup. I want to win more than anything, and that’s all I care about.”

As one of the most coveted players expected to hit the market this summer, Guentzel’s decision will be closely watched. For the Blackhawks, securing a player of his caliber could be a significant step toward returning to competitiveness and establishing a winning culture.

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