Report: Jake Guentzel's Future With Penguins More In Doubt After Nylander Signing

While the massive William Nylander extension has many fans in Toronto celebrating, you can also bet that players around the NHL are delighted as well. Nylander's shocking $11.5M AAV means that other impending free agents might have just seen their price tags soar. In the case of Jake Guentzel, in fact, the news should make the Pittsburgh Penguins' plans that much more difficult. 

There was one report over the weekend that indicated that Penguins GM Kyle Dubas was intent on re-signing Guentzel unless his team were to drop out of the playoff hunt this season. But Guentzel's agent Ben Hankinson recently told The Hockey News that, while he and Dubas do have a good relationship, things could get dicey in contract talks. "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.

“(Kyle) might look into what he can get for Jake (on the trade market) or what it costs to sign him,” Hankinson said. “There's a lot that will happen in two months.”

The Pittsburgh winger is a pretty good comp for Nylander, and it could be that his new price tag will rise out of the Penguins' range. 

Guentzel, though two years older, has one more 40-goal season in the bank than the Leafs' winger (two vs. one coming into this season), and a better point-per-game mark over his career (.93 to .87). Guentzel also has a plus-minus of +53 compared to Nylander’s +28.

Guentzel was a 3rd-round pick of the Penguins in 2013, and is coming off a five-year, $6M AAV contract. 

One top contending team has already been tied to Guentzel on the trade market, should Dubas feel that the Pittsburgh forward has been priced out of his comfort zone. 

As noted by NHL Insider Kevin Weekes, Guentzel isn't the only pending UFA affected by the Nylander news, as Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart, 28, could expect a similar deal, while 33-year-old Tampa Bay Lightning veteran Steve Stamkos has a much longer track record of success than the Leafs forward. 

The reverberations of the Nylander deal are certainly being felt around the league.

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports