Rumor: Jake Guentzel will not re-sign with Penguins this season.

Rumor: Jake Guentzel will not re-sign with Penguins this season.

One of the Penguins' top stars is reportedly not interested in re-signing during the season.

Jonathan Larivee

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of a pivotal season and with the team currently hovering just above the very bottom of the National Hockey League's Metropolitan Division, things are hardly going according to plan.

Considering all of the pressure on the team at this moment you could understand why a player would be hesitant to negotiate a new contract in season, and unfortunately for the Penguins that has now left them in a very awkward scenario.

According to a report from NHL insider David Pagnotta, veteran Penguins forward Jake Guentzel will not be seeking to re-sign with the Penguins in season, with Guentzel preferring to wait until the end of the season to get into more serious contract talks.

This of course leaves the Penguins and general manager Kyle Dubas in an extremely tough spot when you consider the fact that Guentzel is currently in the final year of his contract with the Penguins. Not only could Guentzel in theory walk away as a free agent at the end of the season, leaving the Penguins with nothing, but that fact would give him considerable leverage in any contract talks that could occur once the season is over.

If the Penguins are well out of playoff contention ahead of the NHL's trade deadline they could look to trade Guentzel in order to secure a return for the player, but even that will be easier said than done. The final 2 years of Guentzel's deal with the Penguins come with a modified no trade clause which allows Guentzel to submit a 12 team no trade list at the start of the season, something that would greatly limit Dubas' options when attempting to make a trade.

A less than ideal situation for the Penguins and a tough test for newly appointed general manager Kyle Dubas.