Star forward, pending UFA rejects Kyle Dubas' latest contract offer in Pittsburgh

Ryan Smitheram
February 2, 2024  (12:26)

Jake Guentzel's future in Pittsburgh is in limbo
Photo credit: NHL

The NHL's stars have gathered in Toronto for All-Star weekend, and as the trade deadline fast approaches, reporters have been compiling their "Trade Bait" boards and there are plenty of juciy trade targets available. With Elias Lindholm being dealt to Vancouver earlier this week and Noah Hanifin able to control his own situation in Calgary, Nick Kypreos, Justin Bourne and Frank Seravalli turned their attention to Sidney Crosby's triggerman, Jake Guentzel, who up until this week, seemed very unlikely to move. However, that may have changed.

The Penguins limped into the All-Star break with 4 wins in their last 10 games and a freefalling powerplay that should be near the top of the league with the talent it has. They are 7 points out of a wild card spot currently. GM and President of Hockey Operations Kyle Dubas will have to decide over the coming weeks if he is going to try and help push them into the playoffs or not. Dubas also has to decide if he is going to move Guentzel if he is unable to sign him ahead of March 8th. On The Real Kyper and Bourne show, Kypreos and Seravalli discussed the latest on the 29-year-old winger.
"My understanding is that there may have been something offered to him in the ballpark of $50M," said Kypreos. "$8.5M times six and as of now he's not signed."

Kypreos then asked Seravalli what he thought of the reportedly rejected offer. Seravalli confirmed that a deal like that is not even close to what the Pens will need to offer to get a deal done.
"That offer sounds short on term and short on dollars."

Seravalli explained that this is Guentzel's one big deal and he is probably looking for a max-term, but that the Penguins are in a bind with their current roster situation. He noted that the Penguins can either ride with Guentzel into the playoffs or deal him at the deadline to recoup some of the assets they have traded away over the years to begin what will be a lengthy rebuild.
With Evgeni Malkin signed for 2 more seasons beyond this one, Sidney Crosby for one, Kris Letang for four and Erik Karlsson for three, Seravalli said that if the Penguins don't trade Guentzel, it could be two years before the rebuild even begins as they attempt to move everyone out.
The next five weeks will determine how Kyle Dubas approaches the deadline and could very well solidify the future of Guentzel and other stars in Pittsburgh. If Guentzel is traded, it should be a sign that the rebuild is beginning and the last years of Crosby, Malkin and Letang will be going towards mentoring younger players instead of chasing Stanley Cups.
This is certainly not an ideal start in Pittsburgh for ex-Leafs GM Kyle Dubas.
Star forward, pending UFA rejects Kyle Dubas' latest contract offer in Pittsburgh

Will Penguins GM Kyle Dubas trade Jake Guentzel?

No, he will sign14422.4 %
Yes, they need to plan for life after Sid/Geno37858.8 %
Too early to say12118.8 %
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