Insider: Canucks Pursuit of Guentzel is “Legit”

The Vancouver Canucks tried hard to acquire star forward Jake Guentzel at the trade deadline from the Pittsburgh Penguins, before he was sent to Carolina. Now that Guentzel is back up for grabs as a pending UFA, it appears that the Canucks are charging hard after him again.

That's the word from Vancouver insider Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet, as he relayed to Rick Dhaliwal:

Guentzel is a player they've liked for a while and of course we know the history with Tocchet and Rutherford and Allvin in Pittsburgh. So, it is legit, they're interested. And maybe he's a $9.5 million dollar player... If they really want a guy, and he is essential, and he is key, they are going to be aggressive.

MacIntyre noted that the Canucks clearly had a "pecking order" of business to take care of this offseason, and obviously Filip Hronek was No. 1. Now, it appears that Guentzel could be No. 2.

"The next biggest item would be Jake Guentzel. And that may be having a cool-down effect on all of their negotiations with their other players." 

How they'll be able to continue to pursue their own free agents, like Nikita Zadorov and Dakota Joshua is in question with this news, but agents have clearly noted that Vancouver has been "saving its money" this offseason for some "big pieces" they have in mind. And this could be the next one. 

 For what it's worth, a Canucks blogger added this bit of intrigue as fuel to the fire:

Were Guentzel and his wife with a real estate agent in upscale North Vancouver? 

This will be a situation to watch as we approach the July 1st start of free agency.

Photo: © James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports