Strong play in motion for Jake Guentzel’s rights!  

Strong play in motion for Jake Guentzel’s rights!

One contender gets ahead with latest move:

Chris Gosselin

All NHL teams have been informed by the Carolina Hurricanes that star winger Jake Guentzel was now available on the trade block since he had revealed his desire to test free agency comes July 1st. The Hurricanes are reportedly asking for a mid-round pick in order to complete a sign and trade for Guentzel and it sounds, per Frank Seravalli, that the Vancouver Canucks are getting more serious about making a move.

“And when the clock strikes 12 noon ET on Canada Day, expect the Vancouver Canucks to make a strong play for pending free agent forward Jake Guentzel .”

The insider knows the Canucks won’t be the only ones attempting a move to acquire Guentzel, who could get a massive six year deal at $8 million annually as a free agent. However, Seravalli believes Vancouver can make a strong play for the winger as they hold a few advantages over the other clubs:

“Nonetheless, sources have been percolating that the Canucks might present the best mix of money and opportunity right out of the gate. There is a familiarity there, as Guentzel played for Rick Tocchet as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh, and under Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin in the Steel City – not to mention the strength and training staff.

"There is also a need. The Canucks pushed the Edmonton Oilers to Game 7 in Round 2, but fell short in part because they couldn’t find a way to engage Elias Pettersson , and putting Guentzel on his wing might go a long way in solving for that problem.”

There is clearly a fit for Guentzel in Vancouver. Plus, the Canucks have had Guentzel in their crosshairs as a trade target for a while now and even came close to flipping forward Elias Lindholm to the Boston Bruins to make room for the winger ahead of the March trade deadline. Guentzel was however shipped out to Carolina by the Pittsburgh Penguins instead.

I bet they won’t miss twice on the star forward, who scored 34 goals and 44 assists for a total of 78 points in 74 games last season between the Penguins and the Canes.