Jake Guentzel rumors

The Jake Guentzel rumors are all over the place, with Frank Seravalli noting several teams are in the mix, notably the Rangers and the Carolina Hurricanes. But in that mix of teams, we can logically start to eliminate some teams from being truly in the mix, at least for now, based on pieces available and cap space. This leaves the Rangers and Canes as the only two feasible candidates, at least for now.

Florida has already made their acquisition in Vladimir Tarasenko and Vancouver is rumored to be balking at the asking price. Vegas is a wild card, having just acquired Noah Hanifin but likely putting Alec Martinez on LTIR at some point soon. That gives them more than enough cap space to be back in it on Guentzel.

Until that happens though, the Rangers and Canes are the only two teams remaining with the pieces and cap space to pull it off. The asking price appears to be a young NHL player off the active roster, a 1st round pick, and another prospect. This is in line with prior expiring UFA trades of his caliber, but it’s also something the Rangers may not be willing to pull off.

For starters, subtracting from the current roster just opens another roster hole. Chris Drury has been adamant about not trading Kaapo Kakko, and it’s safe to assume Will Cuylle won’t be moved either. Is Zac Jones enough to meet that first criteria? If so, the Rangers likely need to up the value of the prospect added, which seems unlikely with Gabe Perreault and Brennan Othmann off limits.

Anything can happen, including the Penguins recognizing the Flyers and Caps, ahead of them in the standings, selling off pieces. Is that a signal the Penguins can leapfrog those teams? They’re still 4 points back of the Isles –Pens have a game in hand– for 3rd in the Metro and 8 points back of the Lightning –Pens have 3 games in hand– for a playoff spot. That’s tough to make up, even for a good team.

I don’t think Guentzel is a realistic fit for the Rangers, especially since Drury won’t want to be complicit in a quick Penguins retool for next season. But Carolina is in the same situation. So the question becomes: Who will blink first?


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