Jake Guentzel reveals true feelings ahead of return to Pittsburgh

He makes his return tomorrow night to his former home.



It was the end of an era for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as popular forward Jake Guentzel was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline. 

For the Penguins, it was one step closer to the inevitable decline that many feel that they are about to undergo, especially given the fact that the franchise iconic trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are all on the wrong side of 35 years of age.

Tomorrow night, the Penguins host the Hurricanes in what will be their first game since yesterday's soul-crushing loss to the Colorado Avalanche that saw them blow a 4-0 lead and lost 5-4 in overtime. It will also feature the return of Guentzel to Pittsburgh, and he'll almost certainly be getting a video tribute at some point during the 1st period to give the organization and fans a chance to say thank you for his multiple contributions to them over the years.

And for Guentzel, it's going to be an "exciting" evening. 

"It's obviously really exciting," Guentzel told reporters after practice in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday. "Family is still there so I'll get to see them tonight. It'll be nice to see some of the guys. But it's just going to be a fun game and hopefully get the two points."

"It's going to be emotional," Guentzel said. "It's going to be fun. It's a special place in our family's hearts. It'll be a cool experience."

Guentzel's family has remained behind in Pittsburgh following the trade to the Hurricanes, and he can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. But until then, he's with Carolina, and has his sights set on helping his new team compete for the Stanley Cup. 

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