Canucks Rumours: Vancouver Linked to Big Star

He could be one of the biggest stars on the trade market — IF the Pittsburgh Penguins decide to sell. In the meantime, NHL insider David Pagnotta has reported that there have been no extension talks at all yet for impending free agent Jake Guentzel. Until something changes on that front, rumours will persist. 

The latest buzz comes out of Vancouver, where the Canucks are said to be interested in acquiring the Penguins star forward, if he's made available.  Current Vancouver president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford is quite familiar with Guentzel, of course, having been the GM in Pittsburgh, and being the man who signed Guentzel to his current five-year, $30 million deal that’s about to expire. 

According to Canucks Insider Rick Dhaliwal on the Donnie & Dhali podcast:

There’s a lot of talk out there about Jake Guentzel and the Canucks because people are connecting the dots… I will tell you this… I’ll be very surprised if the Canucks are not in on him — IF, capital letters — IF the Penguins make him available.

From all accounts, it appears that the Penguins are still interested in re-signing their top-line forward to a long-term deal, but that the player himself wants to wait things out at this point.

"My understanding is that Guentzel... wants to understand and have a clearer picture as to what the future, both short- and long-term, of the Pittsburgh Penguins is going to be if he does sign a long-term extension with the club, be it a 6, 7 or 8-year deal," said NHL Insider David Pagnotta. 

He does add, however, that as long as the Pens remain in the thick of the playoff race and aren't told that Guentzel won't sign, GM Kyle Dubas isn't going to consider moving him. 

In addition, the Canucks are on the veteran's limited no-trade list, but Dhaliwal insists that wouldn't be a problem if it came down to that.

Guentzel is having a tremendous first half with 43 points and 37 games, On 18 goals and 27 assists, to go along with a plus-minus of +11.

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