Report: Hurricanes "Put Good Foot Forward" In Guentzel Talks

The Carolina Hurricanes made the biggest splash at the trade deadline, landing the premier offensive player available in Jake Guentzel. And while their season was cut short sooner than they'd liked, the former Pittsburgh Penguin certainly did his part, racking up 25 points in 17 regular season games in Carolina, then adding four goals and nine points in 11 playoff games. 

The Hurricanes, needless to say, have every intention of trying to re-sign the impending UFA for the long term, and it does seem that Guentzel enjoyed his time enough in Raleigh to seriously consider it. 

Insider Chris Johnson tells us, on his Thursday podcast, that the wheels are turning in a very positive direction at this point in the efforts to keep him in Carolina:

There has been some hope that Carolina would be able to retain him after trading for him at the deadline and it sounds as though they've put a pretty good foot forward in negotiations. 

As Johnson notes, however, Guentzel has a real trade-off to consider in whether to accept the Canes' pre-UFA extension offer — take the eight-year deal that he can't get in free agency from another team, or get the full experience of his one time going to the open market, and being potentially the top player on it, at that. 

After his initial entry-level contract, the Penguins re-signed him in 2018 to a 5-year, $30 million deal at a $6M AAV. Now, it's time for him to really cash in. Johnson predicts a 7-year, $9.645 million AAV if he hits free agency.

There'd been some talks that the Penguins might try to reacquire him this summer, among other teams that would certainly have interest. But will the Hurricanes let him make it to July 1st? 

Guentzel, 29, has been a 30-goal scorer four times in his eight NHL seasons, a 40-goal scorer twice, and overall is averaging 0.93 points per game for his career. 

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