NHL Rumors: Direction of the Penguins Will Determine Jake Guentzel’s Future in Pittsburgh

The Penguins Are In A Tough Situation In Terms of What To Do With Jake Guentzel

Dave Pagnotta of the Fourth Period joined TSN Radio in Montreal, and when asked about what the Pittsburgh Penguins will do with Jake Guentzel, Pagnotta said they are in a tough situation.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

NHL Rumors: Vancouver Canucks, Andrei Kuzmenko, Pittsburgh Penguins and Jake Guentzel

Host: “How does this play out between the Penguins and Jake Guentzel here? Like he’s done at the end of this year? I don’t know how much money is left to go around, and the guy is going to put up probably 40 goals and hover above the 82-point mark.”

Dave Pagnotta: “You’re looking at $9 million for that player, and with Jake, it’s not just about the money. He’s gonna get the money, whether it’s in Pittsburgh or wherever via free agency in July.

With respect to the Penguins, it’s what’s your timeframe? Where is this team going? Are you going to try to compete again, the next couple of seasons until Crosby, Letang, Malkin hang them up, or are you going to start the process of retooling, rebuilding and trying to do this all over again in Pittsburgh?

If that’s the case, if the team’s not going to be competitive in, you know, a couple of years, and they’re going to start that process, then I mean, Jake Guentzel signing there doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And that’s, that’s the read that I’ve gotten on the situation speaking to people close to him speaking to people within within the Penguins organization. They’re trying to find the overall direction or define excuse me, the overall direction of what the team is going to be because you can you can offer him and he can sign let’s say eight years times nine per, but if there’s no opportunity to chase a championship, which seems to be his priority, then even to sign up to a short-term, you know, from that perspective doesn’t make a lot of sense either.

NHL Rumors: Jake Guentzel and his future with the Pittsburgh Penguins

So, you know, it’s a tough situation to be in, especially with where the team is at. They’re six points back of Detroit for a wildcard spot in the East, but they’ve got three games in hand. So they’re not out of this thing just yet. And the mindset in that room is definitely that they’re not out of this. So it’s a tough situation for Kyle Dubas to be in.

Do you take a chance and hold on to him as your “own rental” and then see where it goes from there because I’m pretty sure the Penguins have a good indication of what the situation is and the likelihood of Guenztzel signing as much as him and Crosby have great chemistry, the likelihood of him signing it all depends on what the direction of this team is going to be long term, not just short term. It’s a tough spot to be in.”