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Jake Guentzel Being Traded to Hurricanes in Major Deadline Deal

Star forward from the Pittsburgh Penguins Jake Guentzel is reportedly being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel has just been shipped off to the Carolina Hurricanes for a huge return that likely includes multiple picks and forward Michael Bunting. Elliotte Friedman was among the insiders reporting that Bunting was pulled from the Hurricanes lineup for trade-related reasons. He wrote, “Michael Bunting is scratched tonight for Carolina. There is word he will be traded to Pittsburgh as part of a deal for Jake Guentzel.”

Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic added:

Hearing that the Hurricanes and Penguins are very close to a Guentzel trade. But still some details to work through. Bunting is part of the package. Both teams are playing tonight which also may complicate timing to some degree. But all signs point to Guentzel going to Carolina.

LeBrun also added, “Again, just to be clear, the Guentzel trade is not quite done yet. Both teams playing tonight, some final details to be ironed out, sounds like a post-game trade call with the league. But all signs pointing to Guentzel heading to Carolina.” The deal was imminent at that point.

Guentzel, 29, has 52 points in 50 games this season with the Penguins, registering 22 goals and 32 assists. The forward is playing out the final year of his $6 million contract, with him set to expire as a free agent this off-season. He is then speculated to hit the 2023-24 free agency market.

A hot commodity at this season’s deadline, he’s been sidelined for the past number of weeks due to an untimely injury.

What Does This Mean for the Penguins?

By selling on star winger Jake Guentzel, the Pittsburgh Penguins have shown signs they are beginning to rebuild and officially trade their older assets for younger assets. Older players with expiring deals coming up this free agency and next include forwards Jeff Carter, Lars Eller, Reilly Smith, and captain Sidney Crosby.

Penguins’ star forward Jake Guentzel

The Penguins will have to balance shifting the roster while also making stars like Crosby happy. Speculation is that he’s going to re-sign, but there are also underlying whispers of a trade. As unlikely as they may be, the rumors tend to hang around.

How Does This Affect the Hurricanes?

Carolina has been a team that continually dances around major trades but often doesn’t pull the trigger at the deadline. The biggest reason seems to be their reluctance to spend big on rentals and pending UFAs. But, Guentzel is potentially a different kind of rental. Seen as the missing piece to make the Hurricanes a contender, GM Don Waddell had to sh— or get off the pot.

Demonstrating elite scoring abilities as a winger, Guentzel has exceptional hockey IQ and can generate space and deliver pucks to high-danger zones through both precise shooting and strong passing. While defensive skills are notably lacking, he knows how to score and can play with star talent as evident from his chemistry with Sidney Crosby.

The Hurricanes appear to have secured Guentzel’s services, surpassing four other teams. The Canucks, Golden Knights, Panthers, and Rangers maintained contact with Pittsburgh throughout the day.

Next: Noah Hanifin Extension With Golden Knights In Works

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