Insider: Jake Guentzel Now On Trade Block In Advance of UFA Status

Perhaps the Carolina Hurricanes are getting concerned that they will not be able to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Jake Guentzel. Reports today from hockey insider Elliotte Friedman are that the Canes have made the star forward's signing rights available on the trade market in advance of July 1st.

"I believe Carolina has let everyone know that if you want to trade for his rights for the chance to sign him that it's possible for a mid-round pick."

We reported earlier this week that Friedman even suggested that the Chicago Blackhawks could be a surprise suitor for signing Guentzel, now he's doubling down on that. The Hawks are apparently getting a bit itchy about moving their rebuild along at a quicker pace to take advantage of Connor Bedard.  

“Someone said to me Chicago’s starting to make noises like they’d like to move things along a little bit here... I don't think it's impossible that Chicago is considering this."

Guentzel, who'll be 30 when the new season begins in October, is one of the top UFAs on the board this summer, coming off another excellent season, recording 30 goals and 47 assists for 77 points in 67 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Hurricanes. His 5-year, $6 million AAV deal has expired and he has a chance to test the open market for the first time. He should be able to easily crack the $8 million AAV mark on a new long-term contract. 

The big question for the Blackhawks is do they feel he fits their timeline as a 30-year-old, to spend that kind of money?

Photo: © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports