NHL Rumors: Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, and the New York Rangers

The New York Rangers had the piece(s) to acquire Jake Guentzel but weren’t willing to part with it, so he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Tort’s Tantrum Fallout & the Golden LTIR episode on the Pittsburgh Penguins trading Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes and how the New York Rangers were in the mix but wouldn’t move a key piece to the deal.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Friedman: “Now, Jeff, I also think this. I think the goal was for a long time to keep Guentzel. I think they were going to try to trade other people and keep Guentzel. But I think they realized the value for some of these other people wasn’t as high as they’d hoped, and then if they really wanted to add pieces, it was going to have to Guentzel.

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And that, and I think they were, I think the players were hoping Guentzel could stay. And I think Guentzel was hoping he could stay. I think he had people in his corner that were doing what their job is, which is like ‘Jake, you got to have eyes wide open here.’ But I really believe they wanted to keep him and move others and then reality hit them about what some of the worth of those other players were. And they realized if anyone was going to have to go to get them pieces, it was going to have to be him.

Marek: “What, what should we read into and again, there are a couple of conditional draft picks although the Carolina Hurricanes need to make it to the Stanley Cup final to see some of these conditions actualized. What should we read into the fact that this was not a Guentzel trade based on draft picks, but players. Albeit, young players, but still actual bodies, living breathing young hockey players here.

Does that indicate to you that they understand that they’re rebuilding this thing, but they don’t want to start from the root to get to the fruit. They want it moved along a little bit quicker?

Friedman: “Well, I think anybody who had been paying attention knew that was the case. That they did not want the trades to be based on draft picks. I said from about a week and a half ago, that I really thought Carolina was the team to beat. That Carolina had the prospect pool that Pittsburgh liked the most. They thought of all the teams that would be interested, they had the deepest amount of players that they could go get. And I never wavered from that.

Now I believe they knew, had a good idea what Carolina was willing to do, and I think they shopped it other places. They shopped it to Vegas, which is what Dubas is paid to do. I believe they shopped it to Vegas. I believe they shopped it to Vancouver. I believe they shopped it to the Rangers and anybody else who was in on this.

And I think the Rangers at the end of the day, we’re the team that was the best position to beat it. However, I don’t believe, I’m not sure which one it was like, people know like the Rangers have great, a couple great prospects, (Brennan) Othmann, (Gabriel) Perrault.”

Marek: “Yep.”

Friedman: “I don’t know which one we’re talking about here. I keep hearing different things and at this time of year, there’s so much noise, you’ve got to be careful.

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However, I believe that there was some, I absolutely 100% believe, there was somebody if the Rangers had thrown them in, they could have gotten Guentzel and the Rangers didn’t put that player in. Like whichever one it was, the Penguins wanted them and the Rangers said no. And ultimately, Carolina got the player.

I really do think that the rate, if anybody was going to beat Carolina, it was probably New York with one or two particular prospects that the Penguins had asked for.”