Penguins' Jake Guentzel Has Surgery, Will Be Out To Start Season

The Pittsburgh Penguins' path to make it back to the playoffs is not starting out on the foot the team wanted it to as star winger Jake Guentzel will be out of action for three months after ankle surgery. He had a lingering injury on his right ankle and with a three month recovery date, he isn't expected to miss too much time, but he will be out for the entirety of training camp and the first few of weeks of the season. While Guentzel was ramping up training in preparation for the season, he knew something was wrong and it wouldn't just go away.

The Penguins won't be in too much of a hole as they did acquire Mikael Granlund at the trade deadline last season and brought in Reilly Smith this offseason. Someone will be able to fill in for Guentzel in the short-term, and the Penguins are lucky that the recovery time doesn't stretch deeper into the season. They can't afford to lose the two-time 40-goal scorer who has logged over 20 minutes a game for four consecutive seasons.

Having Guentzel land on LTIR will free up some much-needed cap space to start the season. He is going into his contract year and with the Penguins trying to stay competitive for as long as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang are around, Guentzel is a must to bring back. He is a Stanley Cup winner and will be expected to return to a 40-goal, point-per-game pace this season on the top line.

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