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NHL Rumours: Pittsburgh Penguins A Long-Shot on Reunion with Forward

NHL Rumours

It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours. We’re on the eve of the Stanley Cup Final, but there’s plenty to hash out in the hot stove. Teams are looking to improve their rosters this off-season. General managers may have to clear out some space in order to make that happen. This could mean some possible reunions for teams. We’ve talked possible reunions in previous editions in NHL rumours. Today’s edition looks into the Pittsburgh Penguins possibly bringing back a former forward.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Pittsburgh Penguins May Try to Bring Back Forward

Rumour: Josh Yohe of The Athletic had a recent edition of his Penguins mailbag. The question of Jake Guentzel returning to the club was asked and Yohe looked into it.

Analysis: Guentzel was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the deadline and did well for the club. The Omaha, Neb. native is an unrestricted free agent and is likely going to get lots of offers. He was a very important part of the team and formed a bond with captain Sidney Crosby. Both players fed off each other fairly well and were a great combination.

However, Yohe was quick to put water on the idea of Guentzel returning to this club. The Penguins scribe didn’t rule it out, but said it’s highly unlikely that Guentzel will make a return. Yohe did bring up that Guentzel could entertain the idea of a discount to return. However, there was some animosity with him being traded at the deadline.

Cashing In

It seemed that the Penguins and General Manager Kyle Dubas had already made up his made about not signing Guentzel. One can’t blame Dubas for trying to get something out of an asset rather than let him walk. However, it seemed that there was going to be deal some time during the season.

His stint with the Hurricanes proved that Guentzel could be a good scorer that didn’t need Crosby. Teams are looking for pretty sure things when it comes to goal-scorers. Guentzel seems to fit that bill and he’ll definitely find someone willing to spend money on him.

Yohe mentions that a hypothetical contract of six years and $9 million per season is probably the right fit for the 29-year-old. That contract seems to be a little rich for Dubas’ blood.

Moving Money Around

Pittsburgh would have to make some deals to free up space for Guentzel. There had already been some talk about trading players like Reilly Smith and possibly Tristan Jarry. Dealing the latter would likely make Dubas have to find one or possibly two goalies. Alex Nedeljkovic is a UFA and did all he could to keep the Pens in the playoff race. Losing Nedeljkovic would be a big blow and force Dubas to shift his off-season priorities.

Dubas could also try to move the contract of Ryan Graves this off-season. Graves ended up on long-term injured reserve, but carries a $4.5 million cap hit until the end of the 2028-29 season. It would probably be a hard move to pull off, but could really give the Penguins plenty of space if Dubas can pull it off.

Yohe mentions that the team could focus its attention to other free agent targets this off-season. Names like Jake DeBrusk, Max Domi and Anthony Duclair were ones that were mentioned in the mailbag. Reuniting with Guentzel is something that some Penguins fans are dreaming about. However, the reality is that there probably won’t be a return to the Steel City in the cards. Too many factors probably will prevent that from happening.

Main photo by: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


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