Contract Talks Between Penguins and Jake Guentzel Could Get 'Ugly'

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Jake Guentzel are expected to continue conversations around a contract extension ahead of the March 8 trade deadline but there's no doubt about it, things could get very ugly between the two.

President and GM Kyle Dubas is working a hard bargain as he looks to save as much money as possible for next season and beyond as the franchise isn't necessarily in the greatest place considering the expensive aging core and the lack of results. 

While both sides want to eventually make something work, Dubas and Guentzel's agent continue to discuss the matter and there's a very good chance Guentzel could finish the season without an extension and his agent, Ben Hakinson thinks there's also a chance things get ugly between the two sides:

He’s on the last year of a deal. The good news is I have a really good relationship with (Penguins GM) Kyle Dubas. Jake Guentzel is in a great spot. He started his career there. It’s no secret the team is getting older. There are some Hall of Fame players on that team. What’s going to happen, I don’t know. But I’m going to lean on conversations I’ve already had with Kyle, including in the summer, including conversations with Jake.

I think the good thing is we’ll all be on the same page. Could it get ugly? Yes, it could. Kyle has to make decisions, too, which way the team is going and the investment he’s going to make with Jake. Is it the same direction? It’s going to come down to how they play and we’ll put our heads together. And like we talked about a couple of minutes ago, all the things that go into trade deadlines, (Kyle) might look into what he can get for Jake or what it costs to sign him. There’s a lot that will happen in two months, and I don’t know the answers to that. But I do know Jake loves Pittsburgh. He’s a hockey player. He’s had some good success and fun in that city. We’ll see.

Guentzel continues to produce, even with the Penguins struggling to find consistent results. The veteran sniper has 43 points in 38 games and does hold a 12-team modified no-trade clause as the trade deadline is only two months away. The Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks will be very interested should Dubas decide to make a bold move over the next two months.

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