The Penguins won’t trade winger Jake Guentzel.
Not sure if that means Guentzel walks via free agency after the season, or if the Penguins re-sign him long-term. (The latter seems unlikely: At 29, this is Guentzel’s last best chance to cash in. Would the Penguins pay him, say, $72m over eight years? Or $63m over seven years?)
This prediction isn’t based on leaks from within the organization.
It just feels like the Penguins won’t trade Guentzel.
Former Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is president of hockey ops in Vancouver. The Canucks just traded their first-round pick to Calgary as part of a deal that sent center Elias Lindholm to Vancouver.
Trading that first-rounder all but eliminates Vancouver from contention to get Guentzel.
If Rutherford felt Guentzel was legitimately in play, he’s less likely to make that swap for Lindholm.
Rutherford would want Guentzel. Same goes for Patrik Allvin, the Canucks' GM, and Rick Tocchet, their coach. Like Rutherford, both worked with Guentzel in Pittsburgh.
At the very least, it feels like the Penguins are hesitant to trade Guentzel. That means they probably won’t.
The Penguins don’t want to disappoint Sidney Crosby. Guentzel might be the best linemate he’s ever had, and they’ve been sizzling lately.
It digs the hole deeper and guarantees nothing for this season.
But the Penguins won’t trade Guentzel.