Grim update on Jake Guentzel's future with Penguins

Are his days numbered in the Steel City?



The Pittsburgh Penguins made it clear that they are attempting to give it one last go with the famed trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang in their lineup despite having missed the playoffs last season for the first time since Crosby's rookie campaign of 2005-06. The acquisition of Norris Trophy winning defenseman Erik Karlsson along with Stanley Cup champion Reilly Smith paced new President of Hockey Operations and GM Kyle Dubas' early tenure with the team.

However, Karlsson has been a shell of the offensive dynamo he was last season, the Penguins have been up and down, and a postseason spot is anything but a sure thing. But after this campaign comes to a close, there will be considerable attention turned toward the future of forward Jake Guentzel with the team. 

Currently playing in the last year of his contract, Guentzel's agent Ben Hankinson didn't exactly cement the return of his client to Pittsburgh next season and even hinted that he could be dealt at the Trade Deadline if the Penguins find themselves on the outside looking in at the postseason. 

“Kyle has to make decisions, too, which way the team is going and the investment he’s going to make with Jake,” Harkinson said. “Is it the same direction? It’s going to come down to how they play and we’ll put our heads together.”

“And like we talked about a couple of minutes ago, all the things that go into trade deadlines, [Kyle Dubas] might look into what he can get for Jake or what it costs to sign him. There’s a lot that will happen in two months, and I don’t know the answers to that.”

Meanwhile, David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period revealed that there have been no new negotiations between Guentzel's camp and the Penguins.

“I can tell you right now no contract negotiations’ve taken place between the Penguins and Guentzel’s camp and his agent Ben Hankinson,” Pagnotta said. “Kind of status quo at the moment.”

“My understanding is that Guentzel is comfortable waiting this out to understand and have a clearer picture as to what the future, both short- and long-term, of the Pittsburgh Penguins is going to be... Don’t be surprised if things get pushed to the offseason before things start to get significant between the Penguins and Guentzel’s camp.”

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Source: PensBurgh