There are three weeks remaining until the March 8 trade deadline, and until the Penguins have to make a decision regarding Jake Guentzel’s expiring contract.
In order for Kyle Dubas to decide to move Guentzel before the deadline, a team would need to offer a package to similar to what sent longtime Philadelphia Flyer Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers in 2022, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
“The thing about Pittsburgh is... you know that [Dubas] has done his research. What did Claude Giroux get? A first-rounder and Owen Tippett,” Friedman said on Monday’s episode of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast.
“Dubas is sitting there, he’s saying, look. If you want Guentzel, I want the Giroux deal,” Friedman continued. “So, he can wait. Everyone’s looking at Guentzel, and the teams who want him know whether Kyle Dubas waits... I think Dubas is prepared to let this play out, because he knows the comparable, and everybody else knows the comparables too.”
Jake Guentzel, who was drafted 77th overall in 2013, becomes the 21st player from his draft class to skate in 500 career games.— Penguins PR (@PenguinsPR) February 7, 2024
Guentzel's 219 career goals entering his 500th game are the most among all 2013 draftees through their milestone game. pic.twitter.com/QrlEFmOIKv
The Colorado Avalanche also wanted to pursue Giroux, and would have similarly offered a first-rounder and prospect, in their case Morgan Barron, according to Friedman.
“To me it’s just simply a question of, when does Dubas decide if he’s going to do it?” Friedman said. “If Pittsburgh’s in the [playoff] race, I still think he does it...”
“I think everybody knows, that’s what the Penguins are going to be asking for, when the time comes, for Guentzel.”
It’s worth noting when comparing deals to the Giroux trade that the Flyers were limited in where they could move their former captain thanks to his no-move clause.
According to the Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Giroux only would have accepted a trade to the Panthers, and the Flyers never spoke with any other team.
That resulted in a trade that was, at the time, greeted with limited enthusiasm by Flyers fans. At the time, Tippett was a prospect still considered a work-in-progress with defensive weaknesses whom the Panthers were “kind of down on,” as Friedman described it.
Tippett has turned out to be a successful addition in Philadelphia, where he recorded a career-high 27 goals and 49 points last season. Still, the Penguins would potentially be able to maneuver for a higher-rated prospect in exchange for Guentzel due to having more flexibility in his contract.
Dubas wouldn’t have total power to move Guentzel anywhere he wants, however. Guentzel has submitted a 12-team no trade list to the team.
It’s very possible that all of this speculation over a potential Guentzel trade is partially due to his camp’s work to increase what the Penguins are offering (Evgeni Malkin’s brief dip into free agency comes to mind.) Only the next three weeks will tell how serious Dubas is about actually testing the trade market.