NHL Trade Rumors: Canucks Linked To Jake Guentzel

The Vancouver Canucks have some big free agents to take care of, forwards Elias Lindholm and Dakota Joshua and defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Tyler Myers among them. But word is now circulating that they're looking outside their own circle to add talent this summer, in the form of top pending UFA Jake Guentzel.

Beat writer Ben Kuzma has written in The Province that the Canucks are a factor in the new Guentzel trade sweepstakes after the Carolina Hurricanes made it known this past weekend that his rights are available in a trade for a mid-round draft pick. 

The Canucks don’t have first- or second-round selections in the 2024 NHL Draft but could part with a third or fourth if they’re convinced landing Guentzel is a marriage of current fit and past connection. And they also would get a leg up on several suitors.

The 'past connection' Kuzma speaks of is Guentzel's history with team president Jim Rutherford, head coach Rick Tocchet and GM Patrik Allvin. Plus the fact that the Canucks were considering flipping the recently acquired Elias Lindholm back in March to the Boston Bruins in order to have the cap space (and lineup fit) to trade for Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the time. 

Would acquiring Guentzel and then looking at an expensive extension in the $8M-$9M AAV range make sense for Vancouver? According to Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, it does. All it would mean was revisiting the 'Lindholm out, Guentzel in' scenario they already considered earlier this year:

"If the Canucks are willing to give Lindholm $7 million, why not just add 1 to 2 million to go after Jake Guentzel?" asked Dhaliwal. We passed along a report this past weekend that a 7 yrs x $7M AAV offer was what Vancouver was considering for Lindholm.

"The need is more at wing than center," he continued, "and it would solve a big issue in the top-six." In addition, pairing him up with Elias Pettersson would be a tremendous fit. 

The ball is in the Canucks' court. 

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