A new team emerges in Jake Guentzel trade talks
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A new team emerges in Jake Guentzel trade talks

Headed west to a Stanley Cup contender?



Another day, another Jake Guentzel trade rumor.

Guentzel, of course, is out of the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup with an injury but it's expected that Penguins GM Kyle Dubas will be exploring the trade market for the pending UFA between now and the NHL's March 8th trade deadline.

Guentzel is arguably the biggest trade chip in play and today NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reported that the Vegas Golden Knights have interest in acquiring Guentzel.

From Friedman's appearance on The Jeff Marek Show earlier today:

"I do believe they're one of the teams in on Guentzel. I just find it very hard to think that Vegas is not going to take a swing at the biggest player available."

The 29 year old Guentzel earns $6 million annually on his deal which expires this upcoming offseason. He's likely to be a rental for a team like Vegas who can't afford to offer him a long-term deal. Stay tuned.

Read below for our earlier report on Guentzel and his health, via an update from head coach Mike Sullivan.

The Pittsburgh Penguins look to keep their faint playoff hopes alive when they embark on a Western road swing that sees them first take on the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena, though they continue to be without the services of forward Jake Guentzel, who continues his stay on Long Term Injured Reserve after suffering an upper body injury earlier this month.

However, the good news is that he's traveled with the team and has even resumed skating, though not with his teammates.

“It’s great. It’s a big step when (injured players) get on the ice,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It just means they’re that much closer, so it’s great to see him out there.”

Coincidently, the earliest that he can return to the lineup is March 10, which is two days after the March 8 National Hockey League Trade Deadline. There is rampant speculation that the Penguins could trade Guentzel rather than risk losing him this summer on the free agent market for nothing in return. 

Right now, Guentzel finds himself second behind team captain Sidney Crosby in team points with 52.

If the Penguins find themselves unable to gain any traction in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference, it's considered to be a near foregone conclusion that Guentzel will be dealt at the Trade Deadline; he's also reported to have rejected a contract extension offer from GM Kyle Dubas. 

Just where will Guentzel be by the time that he's eligible to return to action next month? 

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Source: Elliotte Friedman