Canucks Linked to Hurricanes’ Jake Guentzel in Trade for Rights

Jake Guentzel of the Carolina Hurricanes

Getty Jake Guentzel of the Carolina Hurricanes

A new contender for Carolina Hurricanes forward Jake Guentzel‘s negotiating rights ahead of free agency has emerged in the form of the Vancouver Canucks.

Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province reported on June 9 that the Canucks could try to acquire Guentzel’s negotiating rights from the Hurricanes before he enters free agency on July 1.

“In the hunt for a top-six winger, Jake Guentzel has always been in the Vancouver Canucks’ crosshairs,” Kuzma wrote. “However, pulling a trigger on the pending unrestricted free agent was going to be complicated.

“But now there’s clarity. The Carolina Hurricanes will accept a mid-round draft pick for the rights to negotiate with Guentzel before July 1 free agency because he appears destined for the open market.”

With the price for the acquisition of Guentzel revealed by Elliotte Friedman on June 7, Kuzma expects Vancouver to become a strong contender to land Guentzel via sign-and-trade.

“It sounds like he is available for a mid-round pick,” Friedman said on the 32 Thoughts podcast. “Carolina has let everyone know that if you want to trade for his rights, it is possible for a mid-round pick.”

Hurricanes Set Price on Jake Guentzel

According to Friedman’s report, the Hurricanes will be willing to part ways with pending free agent Guentzel for the reasonable price of a mid-round draft pick.

Guentzel joined the Hurricanes in a trade-deadline move on March 8 and completed his contract earning a salary of $6 million in 2024. The New York Rangers eliminated the Canes from the playoffs, finishing Guentzel’s tenure in Carolina.

As Kuzma notes in his post the Hurricanes paid a high price for Guentzel when trading for him midseason. Carolina sent Michael Bunting, three prospects, a conditional 2024 first-round pick, and a fifth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kuzma believes the Canucks could send the supposed “mid-round pick” to Carolina to trade for Guentzel’s rights.

“The Canucks don’t have first- or second-round selections in the 2024 NHL Draft but could part with a third or fourth if they’re convinced landing Guentzel is a marriage of current fit and past connection,” Kuzma wrote. “And they also would get a leg up on several suitors.”

That’s certainly a low price to pay compared to what the Hurricanes paid before the trade deadline. For comparison, Kuzma lists the potential haul the Penguins might have fetched from Vancouver before March 8.

“The Canucks would have had to part with prospect winger Jonathan Lekkerimaki and defenceman Tom Willander, plus a high draft pick, to cement a pre-deadline Guentzel transaction,” Kuza wrote.

Guentzel could be the final piece in Vancouver’s postseason puzzle, having 38 goals in 69 playoff games. Guentzel, on top of that, won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins.

Will Vancouver Move From Elias Petterson to Jake Guentzel?

According to Cap Friendly Vancouver will have around $24 million in cap space this summer. However, General Manager Patrik Allvin faces challenges as the team currently has only 15 players under contract for the next season.

Kuzma believes acquiring Guentzel would help address the Canucks’ need for a top-six forward, especially with the future of Elias Lindholm up in the air as he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The reporter also noted the Canucks’ attempt to move Lindholm to the Boston Bruins before the trade deadline, teasing a potential break during the upcoming free-agent market.

“The Canucks considered flipping the struggling Elias Lindholm to the Boston Bruins, who lost a bid to land the centre before Vancouver struck a deal on Jan. 31, to free up space and take a run at Guentzel,” Kuzma wrote.

“The Bruins have continued interest in Lindholm because of a pressing need at centre, and even if the Canucks offered a seven-year deal at $7 million annually, it still might not be enough,” Kuzma thinks. “In a thin free-agent market at that position, Lindholm is going to cash in because the Bruins will have the cap space and willingness to massage their roster.”

Canucks’ reporter Rick Dhaliwal commented on the potential financial implications of Vancouver’s potential acquisition of Guentzel on June 11, agreeing with Kuzma.

“If the Canucks are willing to give Lindholm $7 million, why not just add $1-to-2 million to go after Jake Guentzel?” Dhaliwal said. “The need is more at wing than center, and it would solve a big issue in the top-six.”

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