Insider: Jake Guentzel "A Very Real Possibility" For Top Canadian Team

The Pittsburgh Penguins have tried to convince us that they "haven't had any discussions" about pending UFA Jake Guetzel, as GM Kyle Dubas has said that "anything out there is pure speculation." Ok then, here's some serious speculation:

Insider Elliotte Friedman reiterated on Monday on his 32 Thoughts podcast that the Vancouver Canucks are "all-in" and will be getting themselves a premier offensive performer by the March 8th trade deadline. He says Guentzel is a "very real possibility."

They are gonna get a top 6 forward. I think they've got a list... a couple of teams have told me they think the Canucks have 4-5 guys they are looking at. Guentzel, I think that's very real as a possibility. 

The connections are obvious, as Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford was the GM in Pittsburgh who signed Guentzel to his current five-year, $30 million deal that’s about to expire. 

The Penguins are still suggesting that they want to re-sign Guentzel, but a lot will depend on where they are at the trade deadline, and from there, what direction they see themselves going in the future. Then, and only then, will a decision on Guentzel be made by the Penguins on whether to move him, and by the player himself as to whether he wants to stay.

The Pens are currently 7th in the Metropolitan Division and five points back of the 2nd Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The 29-year-old Guentzel is having another tremendous season with 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points in 43 games with a plus/minus of +11, in just under 21 minutes of ice time a night.

As for the Canucks, they've risen to the top of the NHL standings with 66 points (31-11-4), and want to capitalize on a tremendous season. They did, however, learn on Monday that they'll be without a key defenseman for a time

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